Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | John McCain | Syria | War on Terrorism | ISIS | Pentagon | military

McCain Discusses Plans to Defeat ISIS in Secret Syria Visit

Image: McCain Discusses Plans to Defeat ISIS in Secret Syria Visit

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (AP Photo)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 06:18 PM

Sen. John McCain made a secret trip to the Kurdish-held region of northern Syria to visit U.S. forces last weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Republican, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, confirmed in a statement Wednesday that McCain had spoken with U.S. forces to discuss plans for defeating ISIS and pushing them out of Raqqa.

She described the visit as a "valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the group in Iraq and Syria." McCain did not announce the trip in advance.

McCain has been one of President Donald Trump's sharpest GOP critics in the Senate, declaring his administration is in disarray. But his spokeswoman's statement said the president "has rightly ordered a review of U.S. strategy and plans to defeat" ISIS.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported the Obama administration had devised a plan to oust ISIS from Raqqa, which included arming Syrian Kurdish forces. Trump's administration, when it came into power, believed the plan had "huge gaps in it," an unnamed source told the newspaper.

The Pentagon on Tuesday said next week it would send the White House a strategy to defeat ISIS.

"It will address ISIS globally, and it is not just a [Department of Defense] plan," said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, the Pentagon spokesman. "We're charged with leading the development of the plan, but it absolutely calls upon the capabilities of other departments."

The Hill noted lawmakers do not often travel to Syria, where civil war as raged since 2011.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said last month she met with Assad during her own secret trip to the war-torn country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sen. John McCain made a secret trip to the Kurdish-held region of northern Syria to visit U.S. forces last weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported.
ISIS, Pentagon, military, meeting
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2017-18-22
Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 06:18 PM
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