“We didn’t leave any of our equipment when we left [Ramadi] in December 2011,” Smith said.
ISIL militants are actively using US military equipment such as small arms and Humvee vehicles, which they seized from fleeing Iraqi forces in course of their sudden 2014 advance.
US Painstaking Campaign to Result in Ultimate ISIL Defeat in Iraq — Pentagon
The US-led international campaign will eventually lead to the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq despite recent significant gains the group has gained in the country, Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Sputnik.
John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham on Monday questioned the efficiency of US President Barack Obama’s strategy against the militants after the fall of Iraq's city of Ramadi to ISIL.
"[IS] will be defeated in Ramadi and elsewhere in Iraq. This campaign will be painstaking, and it will take a long time," Smith said.
On May 15, ISIL launched an offensive to take control of Ramadi, located about 68 miles west of Baghdad. Over the weekend, Iraqi soldiers abandoned their positions in the city, retreating from ISIL militants. Hundreds of Iraqi security forces were killed.
The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadist group that captured large areas in Iraq and Syria in 2014, proclaiming a caliphate on lands under its control.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria since August 2014.