- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

As President Obama held a high-stakes meeting with military advisers at the Pentagon Wednesday, the White House acknowledged that U.S. airstrikes aren’t likely to stop the new offensive of Islamic State militants in northern Syria.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the effectiveness of airstrikes in recent days against the militants near the Turkish border town of Kobani are being hampered by the lack of ground troops to engage the terrorists.

“That will limit the effectiveness of the United States military … on the situation in Kobani,” Mr. Earnest said. “That sort of ground operation doesn’t currently exist in Syria right now. We should just be forthright about the limitations in this particular situation.”

Mr. Obama’s strategy for defeating the militants in Syria calls for arming and training an opposition force, but officials say such an army won’t be ready to fight the Islamic State until sometime next spring.

The president has vowed not to send U.S. combat ground troops into the fight against the Islamic State.

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