• Army Gen. Joseph Votel speaks to reporters at a base in Taji, Iraq, Friday, May 20, 2016, where Iraqi soldiers are being trained by Australian and New Zealand military forces. Bolstered by U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi ground forces have recaptured the western town of Rutba after Islamic State fighters who had occupied the town for nearly two years fled or put up only light resistance, U.S. military officers said Friday, May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)

    US says Iraqi forces have retaken western town of Rutba

    TAJI, Iraq (AP) — The top American general for the Middle East said Friday he is confident that Iraq is on course to defeating the Islamic State, but his words were spare and cautious, his tone notably muted.