Pentagon: Targeting ISIS becoming ‘more difficult’

Fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are changing their tactics and hiding among civilians, making it “more difficult” for the U.S. and allies to target them with airstrikes, a Pentagon official said Thursday.

“We are seeing them change their posture. We're seeing them change their communications. We're seeing them disperse more, to hide more,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Fox News.

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“Certainly, it makes targeting a little bit more difficult. No question about that.”

Kirby stressed that the military campaign against ISIS “isn’t necessarily about … killing individual terrorists” but rather focused on eliminating the terror group’s capabilities.

“We are trying to take away from them the ways that they sustain, train and equip themselves,” he said. “We're doing a lot more dynamic targeting, which is going after trucks, convoys, armored personnel carriers, artillery positions, trying to take away their ability to wreak havoc and continue violence.”

On Monday Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, told reporters that ISIS forces were adjusting to the U.S. airstrikes.

The terror group, which controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq, still poses a danger to Baghdad, according to Kirby.

“They still threaten Baghdad. They have been threatening Baghdad. But they haven't made any great strides in that regard,” he said.

Kirby also hailed Thursday’s vote by the Turkish parliament to authorize its military to join the international coalition battling ISIS, calling the outcome a “very positive development.”

“We're in consultation with the Turks right now about the details on that, what it is actually going to mean,” he said.