U.S. Commander: IS May Be Reverting to Its ‘Roots’

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) -
Security forces and citizens inspect the scene after a suicide car bomb hit a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad's eastern Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, Iraq, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. A wave of bombings struck outdoor markets in Shiite-dominated neighborhoods of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, officials said, the latest in deadly militant attacks far from the front lines in the country's north and west where Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
Security forces and citizens inspect the scene after a suicide car bomb hit a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad’s eastern Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, Iraq, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

The top U.S. commander for the Middle East says a series of deadly attacks by Islamic State terrorists in and around Baghdad may be a sign that the terrorists are “reverting to their roots” as a terrorist organization.

The head of U.S. Central Command, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, says this does not mean IS has given up its ambition to create a so-called caliphate. But he says it marks a new turn in tactics aimed at diverting attention from the group’s recent battlefield losses.

Votel spoke to reporters Wednesday while his military aircraft was being refueled at Ramstein for his flight to the Middle East.

Votel says he sees reason for “a little concern” about political paralysis that has gripped the Iraq government in recent weeks.