Despite Iraqi security forces taking back territory from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), they are not ready to launch a “major offensive” against the terror group, the Defense Department’s top spokesman said Tuesday.

“We recognize that [while] a major offensive against ISIL may still be a ways off, these are encouraging reports that highlight Iraq’s determination to take the fight to ISIL,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

He ticked off a series of instances where Iraqi government forces, with the backing of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, have made gains. […]