The United States is promising to help Iraqi forces retake Ramadi from the Islamic State militant group, though officials worry the looming battles could play to the terror group’s advantage, win or lose.
Just days after saying Islamic State fighters were on the defensive across Iraq, the U.S. military Monday tried to downplay Ramadi’s fall, portraying it as a part of the ebb and flow of a “complex, bloody fight.”
“This is something that we’ve known is a possibility for some time,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said. “What this is means is that we now have to, along with our Iraqi partners, retake Ramadi.”
“There is no denying that this is indeed a setback,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters traveling with U.S. President Barack Obama Monday. “There is also no denying that we will help the Iraqis take back Ramadi.”
Read More: US Vows to Help Iraq Retake Ramadi; Critical Fight Looms