The head of U.S. Central Command told senators Tuesday that retaking key Islamic State group strongholds in northern Iraq and Syria will take “additional capabilities” in coming months, but would not specify if that means more American ground forces.

Gen. Lloyd Austin III said his staff has already made recommendations to Pentagon leaders for those additional needs, and expects to hear back on those requests soon. He would not detail the requests to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The approach we have used is to use indigenous forces to conduct the operations on the ground and enable those forces with our aerial fire,” he said. “As we look ahead, there will be things we want to increase the capabilities, increase the pace a bit.” […]