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US-led Airstirkes Against Islamic State to Escalate Crisis, Lead to Ground War: Analyst

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US-led airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) positions in Iraq and Syria will only escalate the conflict and could lead to the launch of a ground campaign by Washington, Matthew Hoh, an analyst at the Washington DC-based Center for International Policy, has told RIA Novosti.

NEW YORK, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - US-led airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) positions in Iraq and Syria will only escalate the conflict and could lead to the launch of a ground campaign by Washington, Matthew Hoh, an analyst at the Washington DC-based Center for International Policy, has told RIA Novosti.

"Each action we take creates an immeasurable and uncontainable response by the other side, or sides. We, then, for political reasons, must respond [to the IS advance] with greater force. Ground troops become a self-fulfilling prophecy," Hoh, a former Marine, who has served in Iraq, said on Tuesday.

"If you continue escalating and committing more American forces, because of the impact of the Islamic State's beheading videos of US journalists, what do you do then when Americans are killed in combat; or when a terror attack occurs in the US or elsewhere?" he continued, adding that the only possible outcome of the US military action is more violence and "American politicians, who can say they "did something."

The IS extremist group has proclaimed a caliphate on large swathes of land it had seized in Iraq in Syria. The insurgents' advance has made Washington resort to airstrikes on the Iraqi territory and then extend them to Syria.

According to a strategy, outlined by US President Barack Obama, the IS can be routed by US-led airstrikes and by bolstering a ground force of Kurds, Iraqis and "moderate" elements of Syrian opposition. Critics say he lacks reliable allies, over-depends on air power and has no plan for ending Syria's civil war.

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