AP ANALYSIS: US-led airstrikes produce few gains

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014 file photo, smoke rises after a shell lands in Kobani in Syria as fighting intensifies between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border. After two months, the U.S.-led aerial campaign in Iraq has so far hardly dented the core of the Islamic State group’s territory. The extremists’ grip on major cities across Iraq and neighboring Syria remains unquestioned. The campaign has brought some gains, with Kurdish fighters taking back towns on the fringes of the Islamic State group’s territory. But those successes only underline a major weakness: Besides the Iraqi Kurds, there are no forces on the ground ready to capitalize on the airstrikes. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)BAGHDAD (AP) — After two months, the U.S.-led aerial campaign in Iraq has hardly dented the core of the Islamic State group's territory. The extremist fighters have melted into urban areas when needed to elude the threat, and they have even succeeded in taking new territory from an Iraqi army that still buckles in the face of militants.


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