A senior House of Representatives Democrat said Tuesday that the White House’s description of supposed progress in the war against the Islamic State should ring “alarm bells,” and called the fall of the city of Ramadi to the extremists “a very serious and significant setback.”
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“I don’t think we’re losing the war, but I don’t think we’re making tremendous progress either,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor.
The California Democrat had been asked about White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz’s recitation last week of the number of U.S. and partner airstrikes to counter a reporter’s question about whether the Islamic State is winning.
“I wouldn’t use the metrics of the number of sorties or bombs dropped or anything, and to the degree you hear administration officials use those metrics, alarm bells should be going off,” Schiff cautioned.
The lawmaker also warned against using measures like the amount of territory controlled by the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, because in some cases the group has been replaced by other extremist militias hostile to the United States.
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