Can Iraq be saved?

Can Iraq be saved?

By Sarah B. Boxer

After capturing the capital city of a major Iraqi region, ISIS is claiming one of its biggest victories.

According to local officials, Islamic State militants likely killed as many as 500 people in the city of Ramadi, and forced 8,000 to flee their homes.

Ramadi, a city of 192,000 people, is the capital of Anbar Province, a large desert region that the Iraqi government announced just last month it was hoping to save in a major military offensive.

“It’s a pretty significant setback,” Steve Bucci of the Heritage Foundation told Yahoo’s Bianna Golodryga on Monday.

Bucci says American aid to the Iraqi military in an attempt to save the city was “anemic,” and that more air strikes and special forces would have been needed.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., went one step further today, saying he would like to see more of an American ground presence in the fight against ISIS.

In fact, it was a rare U.S. ground attack in Syria last weekend that killed a major ISIS commando, Abu Sayyaf, and captured his wife.

"As important as taking out one leader is, that doesn’t win a battle," says Bucci. “Taking terrain, capturing cities — that’s pretty significant. So if I was going to weigh the two, I’d say ISIS taking Ramadi is a bigger step back than our Delta forces coming in and taking out one leader.”