“We are at war with ISIL, as we are with al Qaeda,” Hagel told the US Senate’s Armed Services Committees, using a different name for the terrorist group “Islamic State” (IS). Hagel warned that “if left unchecked, ISIL will directly threaten our homeland and our allies.” Hagel added that the planned US airstrikes against ‘IS’ jihadists in Syria would target extremist sanctuaries, command centers and logistics networks. But the US military’s top-ranking officer, the chairman of the joints Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who also testified on Tuesday, stressed that the bombing would not resemble the large-scale raids at the start of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. “This will not look like ‘shock and awe’ because that is not how ISIL is organized, but it will be persistent and sustainable,” Dempsey said, referring to the name often used to describe the strikes on Iraq at the time of the invasion. Hagel said the action in Syria would be a “long-term effort, but we will do it right,” and that the US would aim to train and equip forces, and give them tactical and strategic guidance, to create what he referred to as “legitimate forces” in Syria. Ground… Read full this story
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