RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The top U.S. commander for the Middle East says a series of deadly attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operatives in and around Baghdad may be a sign that the militants 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 ISIS 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.
ISIS controls significant areas in northern and western Iraq, including the country's second-largest city of Mosul.