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The Pentagon said on Thursday it is too early to say that the U.S.-led coalition is "winning" against ISIS, pointing to the group’s continued access to financing, volunteers and weapons even after being bombed in Syria and Iraq.
"Your question gets at ... How do you know you’re winning? And what I’m telling you is, it’s going to take us a while to be able to say that,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.
Earlier this week, U.S. aircraft, accompanied by planes from Arab allies, began striking ISIS targets in Syria, marking an expansion of the air campaign against the militant group that began last month in neighboring Iraq. On Wednesday, the U.S. military announced strikes on small oil refineries in eastern Syria intended to undermine the group's ability to finance itself through oil sales. Kirby also said the United States had not seen movement of troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad into areas of Syria where ISIS had been hit by U.S. and allied air strikes.