By LAUREN FRENCH | 6/17/14 12:20 PM EDT
The White House should consider airstrikes to help the Iraqi government fend off an al-Qaeda terrorist group taking control of regions throughout Iraq, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday.
Militants in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, have taken over towns within striking distance of the capital of Baghdad, prompting the Obama administration to weigh if the U.S. should send unmanned drones to help curb the sectarian violence.
“The United States must carefully consider what actions we can take that are effective [in the ] short term and long term,” the Maryland Democrat said. He later added, “I certainly think we should be considering them, yes.”
Obama announced on Monday that up to 275 troops will be deployed to Iraq to provide security to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Congressional Republicans have been passionately urging the White House to consider airstrikes against ISIS.
Hoyer added that the sectarian conflict, between the Sunni minority and Shia majority, has been made worse by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
“It is an issue that has been made much, much worse by Prime Minster Maliki’s unwillingness to include the Sunni minority, the moderate minority in the Sunni community, as full partners in his government,” he said.