Three months into the US air war, the situation on the ground in ISIS territory in both Iraq and Syria is largely unchanged, with only a small amount of territory lost in the conflict.
ISIS has lost a handful of towns along the Kurdish frontier in Iraq, particularly those near Iranian territory. At the same time, they’ve taken more territory inside Anbar Province, further securing their stranglehold on Iraq’s largest province.
Iraqi officials are presenting the lack of any major new cities falling to ISIS in awhile as proof of progress in the conflict, though the initial ISIS move into Anbar came in January, and Mosul didn’t fall until the summer, so the ISIS offensive has been intermittent in its progress for awhile now.
Rather, the issue is that even though officials were already saying the US air war was going to take years, it doesn’t seem to be making any real noticeable progress in shrinking ISIS territory, and all of the big gains have been presented as things that are going to be solved all of a sudden at some future date.