While it remains unclear how much of an impact the first days of the US air campaign are having on the Islamic State strategy, early indications are that the strikes have had an impact on the militant group's ambitions, US officials said on Sunday. "ISIS is starting to realise there are consequences to using heavy artillery and equipment near Erbil," one senior US defence official said. "It's going to slow them down and give the Pesh time to fortify lines with supplies they're getting from [the Iraqi military] and from the US.
Taken together, US officials said, the American effort should deter Islamic State advances on Erbil. "I cannot imagine that we are not having a tactical effect right now," one senior US military official said. "When they see that any of their advances on Erbil are going to be met with rapid and swift airstrikes, they are probably going to move elsewhere.
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