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Looking at ISIS' string of military conquests in northern Iraq over the past week, one could think the jihadists outnumber their opponents 10 to 1 .The jihadist group remains a relatively small force and its strength lies not in numbers. U.S. airstrikes, which targeted ISIS positions near Irbil Friday, might stop the rot but the Al-Qaeda splinter group remains a powerful foe.The amount of hardware, often U.S.-made, the Iraqi army left behind in its spectacular retreat when the jihadists launched their offensive two months ago has transformed ISIS' capabilities.Well-chosen battles ISIS has picked its battles with great acumen, focusing on Sunni areas where support can be found, key infrastructure or poorly defended sites and by avoiding unnecessary losses to maintain momentum and internal unity.Iraqi air raids have already caused numerous civilian casualties, and Drake argued that more accurate bombing by the U.S. air force would be an improvement.
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