The "limits and flaws" of the strategy by the administration of President Barack Obama against the Islamic State (ISIS) are evident from the amount of territory the militants continue to seize, Gen. Jack Keane told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
Keane said the Islamic State had "almost total control now" of nearly the entire Euphrates River Valley, and that seizing the city of Ramadi was the only thing standing in their way.
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He said Sunni fighters were "fighting fiercely" against the Islamic State to hold on to the Anbar Province capital city, adding they were battling the militants "with very little assistance from anyone."
"The fact of the matter is ISIS is still advancing, despite two months of airstrikes," Keane, a retired four-star Army general, said Tuesday. "This presents the limits and flaws of the current strategy."
Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition had not been "nearly as effective as they can be," because of a lack of intelligence to guide the attacks away from "friendly forces or population centers," Keane said.
The Islamic State fighters were also nearing Iraq's capital city of Baghdad and threatened to seize the airport. Keane said even though the Islamic State had "the capability to attack" the airport, he wasn't sure they would prevail. However, he stressed it was important the airport not fall to the militants.
"We don't want them to take it. There's still international commercial traffic in and out of that airport. It is a major symbol of Iraq and its authority — its own international airport right outside its capital city. It means everything," he said.
The airport was also important from a military standpoint for the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State, Keane said.
"Militarily it also means a lot. That's where we have our eight Apache helicopters. There's more going in there, and I'm certain there's other military aircraft there as well. We do not want that to fall," he said.
It made "no sense" for the Pentagon to publish a report
on climate change, and was evidence of a "misguided priority" by the Obama administration, Keane said, adding that he had seen no report from the Department of Defense on the Islamic State.
"I can't imagine that [report] having much impact on our allies, who are facing an assertive and aggressive China in the Pacific, that we're going to come help them with climate change. Or, our allies in Eastern Europe facing the threat of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, that we're going to come help them with climate change," he said.
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