WH: Fall of Ramadi to ISIS a 'setback'

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The White House on Monday called the fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) a "setback," but vowed the U.S. is determined to help retake the Iraqi city.

“There is no denying that this is indeed a setback,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "But there is also no denying we will help the Iraqis take back Ramadi.”

Islamic State forces seized control of the city over the weekend, reportedly killing hundreds of people and forcing thousands from their homes. 

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The city’s fall raised fresh concerns over the effectiveness of President Obama’s strategy in fighting ISIS, which has relied on U.S. and coalition airstrikes and training of Iraqi ground forces.

The White House said it’s not prepared to change its strategy and expressed confidence in the ability of Iraqi security forces. 

“ISIL will ultimately be defeated in Ramadi and elsewhere in Iraq because we believe Iraqi forces have the capacity to ultimately take Ramadi with coalition support,” Schultz said, using an alternate acronym to refer to the group.

Schultz said there have been 32 airstrikes in Ramadi in the past three weeks, including eight in the past 24 hours.

This story was updated at 2:37 p.m.