In the last two weeks, fighters for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra — resulting in major victories for the armed group, also known as ISIS, and painful blows to the U.S.-led coalition trying to destroy it.
The recent setbacks saw lawmakers in Washington and Baghdad trade blame, and even led some U.S. officials to question America's role in the region. But what is the U.S. strategy there? What are its goals, and how is success measured? AJ+’s Dena Takruri examines the issue.