Iraqi forces appear set to drive ISIS militants out of the town of Al-Baghdadi, securing an area near a key air base where U.S. Marines are training local forces, a top U.S. commander said Monday.

Lieutenant General James Terry, the senior U.S. commander of U.S.-led coalition efforts in Iraq and Syria, played down the militants’ seizure of large parts of the town earlier this month, saying that the area had long been contested.

Speaking to reporters before an unusual war strategy meeting with top U.S. military and diplomatic leaders in Kuwait, Terry portrayed ISIS as being on the back foot after they swept through northern Iraq last summer. […]