Top general: US boots on the ground may be needed to defeat Isil

America’s most senior army general on Wednesday said putting boots on the ground in Iraq might be the only way to make progress against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

Gen Raymond Odierno, the outgoing army chief of staff, said months of stalement meant that sending in US troops to embed with local forces was an option that should be put to President Barack Obama.

In recent weeks a number of senior US officials have admitted that Isil is replacing fighters just as fast as they have been killed by airstrikes and ground offensives.

“If we find in the next several months that we aren’t making progress, we should absolutely consider embedding some soldiers (in Iraq),” said Gen Odierno at his final press conference before retiring. “I think that’s an option we should present to the president.”

Gee, no one saw this comin.