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US general dismisses doubts about air war against IS

Iraqi forces take position in Amriyat al-Fallujah, in Iraq's Anbar province, on May 26, 2015A top US Air Force general insisted Friday the American-led air campaign against the Islamic State was effective, rejecting criticism that it was too slow or overly cautious. The bombing raids against the IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria have had a “profound effect on the enemy” and taken out “more than a 1,000 enemy fighters a month from the battlefield,” said Lieutenant General John Hesterman, head of the air fleet under US Central Command. Coalition strikes have helped ground forces in Iraq and northern Syria regain territory from the IS and destroyed most of the group’s oil refining capacity, Hesterman told reporters via telephone from Qatar.

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