Islamic State Dispersing Makes U.S Adapt Targets

By Tony Capaccio

Islamic State terrorists are dispersing and changing tactics to make it harder for U.S. airstrikes to target them, the Pentagon’s spokesman said.

“Yes, they’re blending in more” with the population and “yes, they’re dispersing, and yes, they aren’t communicating quite as openly or as boldly as they once were,” Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters yesterday at the Pentagon. “That’s a good thing, because if they aren’t operating as freely, then they aren’t as free to achieve their goals.”

The U.S. is “pretty adaptive,” too, and will be patient in choosing targets, in part to minimize civilian casualties, he said. The Defense Department has sought to lower expectations that its campaign would continue to match the intensity of the initial attacks by the U.S. and five Arab nations when the American-led offensive against the Sunni terrorist group was extended last month beyond Iraq into Syria.

The U.S. and coalition partners conducted 306 air attacks, with 230 in Iraq and 76 in Syria, through yesterday, Kirby said. British warplanes struck Islamic State targets in Iraq yesterday for the first time since Parliament approved military action against the Sunni militant group in Iraq four days ago.

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