Iraq vets on Hill call for stronger response to ISIS
By Kristina Wong - 08/17/14 11:11 AM EDT
Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), both Iraq war veterans, on Sunday called for a robust U.S. response to a terrorist advance in Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Kinzinger called ISIS's takeover of large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria the "worst-case scenario" for the Middle East.
"This cancer that's growing, that's consuming all over the place," Kinzinger said on ABC's "This Week."
The Illinois Republican called for the U.S. to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS in Syria as well.
He stopped short of calling for troops on the ground, but said "at the end of the day I think the defeating of ISIS is the mission."
"And so I think everything has to be on the table for that end result," Kinzinger said.
The U.S. has begun an air strike campaign to protect U.S. citizens and property in Erbil, as well as to address humanitarian crises faced by Iraqis fleeing ISIS fighters. However, President Obama has made it clear there would be no U.S. "boots on the ground."
Meanwhile, Gabbard called on the U.S. to arm the Kurds in northern Iraq with heavy weapons. The CIA reportedly has been supplying some weapons, but U.S. officials say the Pentagon is planning to do so as well.
"We need to arm the Kurds with heavy weapons, because they are doing the hard work on the ground, they are fighting against ISIS. And we can augment that and support that with our targeted air strikes," she said on "This Week."
On Saturday, the U.S. ramped up its air campaign, targeting nine ISIS targets near the Mosul dam, which ISIS seized August 7, and Erbil, where there is a U.S. consulate and citizens.
Kinzinger added he was "very worried" about ISIS launching attacks in the U.S.
"They have made it very clear that they want to strike us in the United States of America. They've made it clear that they want to strike Europe. And they have the means to do it," he said.
"I think what we begun doing is very good, but I think we have to get even bigger and realize that the crushing and the pushing back of ISIS, not just in Iraq, but also in Syria, is utmost priority," Kinzinger said.
Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/215335-iraq-vets-on-hill-call-for-stronger-response-to-isis#ixzz3AjskBxHf
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