U.S.: Is­lamic State strat­egy fail­ing

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - — As­so­ci­ated Press

BAGH­DAD — Iraqi forces bat­tled Is­lamic State fight­ers for a third day in a re­mote western town far from Mo­sul on Tues­day, but the U.S.-led coali­tion in­sisted the lat­est in a se­ries of “spoiler at­tacks” had not forced it to di­vert re­sources from the fight to re­take Iraq’s sec­ond-largest city.

Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Haider al-Abadi ac­knowl­edged that the mil­i­tants briefly seized the lo­cal gov­ern­ment head­quar­ters in the western town of Rutba, of­fer­ing new de­tails about the as­sault, which U.S. and Iraqi of­fi­cials have sought to down­play since it be­gan Sun­day.

The White House en­voy to the U.S.-led coali­tion bat­tling Is­lamic State in­sisted the mil­i­tants’ strat­egy was fail­ing. from Ir­bil snuck up be­hind him and placed both hands over his eyes. The men laughed. It was the first time they had seen each other in 2 ½ years.

“I don’t care what hap­pens to us” at the camp, Mad­har said. “Noth­ing can be as bad as what Is­lamic State did.”

KHALID MO­HAMMED/AP

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