U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey hold a news conference at the Pentagon October 30, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
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Top American officials are piling pressure on the Barack Obama administration to retool its campaign against ISIS jihadists, urging an end to confusion over the U.S. stance on the Syrian regime, and preparations for the deployment of ground troops in Iraq.Speaking in Washington, Hagel acknowledged that U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS could help Assad.Separately, the U.S. military's top officer called for deploying American advisers to Iraq's Anbar province to counter ISIS jihadists, but said the Baghdad government must first arm local Sunni tribes.Gen. Martin Dempsey's comments marked the first time the American military openly endorsed sending advisers to the restive western province, where Iraqi government troops have suffered a string of setbacks at the hands of ISIS.
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