Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | ISIS | Iran | GOP senators

GOP Senators: Obama Policies Fail From ISIS to Iran

By Joel Himelfarb   |   Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 09:07 PM

Republican senators on Thursday warned that the Obama administration's program to provide assistance to Syrian is inadequate and will likely fail to defeat the the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Senate Armed Services Committee members who attended a closed hearing on Syria said they were unimpressed by administration plans to train "vetted" Syrian rebels.

The Pentagon is planning to deploy several hundred U.S. troops into the Middle East to begin training the Syrian opposition, with a goal of equipping 5,000 fighters annually.

"It’s very weak and will not have significant impact," the panel's chairman, Sen. John McCain, told reporters following an hours long, closed-door briefing on the program.

The Arizona Republican slammed Defense Department officials for telling potential recruits that they could only fight the Islamic State and not Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's Iranian-backed regime, calling that approach the "most ridiculous thing," The Hill reported.

This strategy "makes Pickett’s Charge look well thought out," Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters, referring to the disastrous Confederate military operation at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, that marked the beginning of the end for the South.

"We’re about to train people for certain death," the South Carolina lawmaker said. "If they meet a certain fate, it’s going to be hard to recruit."

Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton noted President Barack Obama's threats to veto bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Iran. He contrasted Obama's opposition to sanctions with Iran's continued backing for Assad and Hezbollah and its support of Houthi rebels who seized the presidential palace this week in Yemen a country Obama has hailed as an example of his foreign policy successes.

"If that's the kind of cooperation we're getting because of our forbearance on [Iran] sanctions, then I'm not sure we want more of it," Cotton said.

It remains unclear how a Syrian rebel force which will have 5,000 fighters a year from now would attack the Islamic State, which has an estimated 30,000 fighters in Syria.

U.S. officials have made pushing back the Islamic State in Iraq a priority, but the jihadists "continue to operate there while retaining their ability to move back and forth between Iraq and Syria," the Free Beacon noted.

At least one-third of Syria remains under the Islamic State influence, and the terrorist organization continues to gain substantial ground there despite close to 800 airstrikes in the U.S.-led military campaign to dislodge its forces, the Daily Beast reported last week.

The Islamic State "does not appear to have suffered any major ground losses" in Syria since the U.S.-led air campaign began, the website reported.

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Republican senators on Thursday warned that the Obama administration's program to provide assistance to Syrian is inadequate and will likely fail to defeat the the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
ISIS, Iran, GOP senators, Islamic State, Barack Obama
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2015-07-22
 

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