Near the dam, American warplanes pounded ISIS armored vehicles and antiaircraft artillery late Saturday and early Sunday while Iraqi ground troops attacked villages held by ISIS fighters. It was exactly the kind of operation that President Obama described at a news conference in Wales on Friday when he talked about how the United States and its allies could fight ISIS: Use American warplanes to drop bombs while coordinating with local ground troops to reclaim and hold territory.
President Obama escalated the American response to the marauding Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Friday, recruiting at least nine allies to help crush the organization.... Obama said the effort would rely on American airstrikes against its leaders and positions, strengthen the moderate Syrian rebel groups to reclaim ground lost to ISIS, and enlist friendly governments in the region to join the fight. [...] Diplomats and defense officials from the United States, Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark huddled to devise a two-pronged strategy: strengthening allies on the ground in Iraq and Syria, while bombing Sunni militants from the air.
President Obama will lay out his plans for dealing with ISIS in a speech on Wednesday, but those plans will not include a major ground offensive, he said in an interview on "Meet the Press" Sunday. "This is not going to be an announcement of U.S. ground troops," Obama told host Chuck Todd. Upcoming military action will likely include further air strikes and efforts to shore up Iraqi forces. "The next phase is now to start going on some offense," the president said. "It will be "similar to counterterrorism campaigns that we've been engaging in consistently over the last four, five years."