Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | navy | ray mabus | mediterranean | crisis | destroy

Navy Secretary: Mediterranean Crisis Will Continue Unless ISIS Is Destroyed

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 12:19 PM

More than 2,500 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks, but similar humanitarian tragedies will continue to occur there and in Iraq and Syria unless ISIS is degraded and destroyed, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said Wednesday.

"We respond to humanitarian disasters," Mabus told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We respond at sea. But, again, you have to go to the cause. You have to go to why these people are at sea and why they are fleeing."

Seven hundred migrants were reported missing in a three-day period over the weekend, the largest loss of life reported in the region since April 2015, when a single ship sank with an estimated 800 people trapped inside.

Meanwhile, the battle against ISIS is long and slow, Mabus said.

"If you look at the amount of territory that the Iraqis, that some Syrian forces that we are supporting have recaptured this year, if you look at some of the leadership that has been taken out of the battlefield, it's long. It's slow. It will have to be won on the ground by the people on the ground, by the Iraqi forces. We can help but they have to win."

Mabus also addressed the issues in the South China Sea, where the Chinese government is building a series of islands with airfields, which they are "not entitled to do."

"What we are doing is what we have done for 70 years, that's keeping sea lanes open," Mabus told the program. "We are going everywhere international law says we can go whether on the sea or the air. What we don't want is any country to change status quo unilaterally, any country to claim things that they are just not entitled to under international law."

Mabus continued that he does not know exactly why China is building the islands, but he does know what the United States' job needs to be.

"China is doing as well as it is economically," said Mabus. "The world is doing as well as it is economically because of the United States Navy, because for 70 years we have kept sea lanes open for everybody and not just folks flying our flag."

Mabus is in New York speaking about the strides the Navy has taken when it comes to using alternative fuels, and at this point, 50 percent of all energy on Navy bases around the world are fueled by alternative energy.

"We set out in 2009, when I took this job, 50 percent goal alternative energy on shore and afloat," he told the program. "We did it to make us better war fighters. We did it because fuel can be used as a weapon. Look at what Russia did in Crimea. I didn't want that weapons used against us. We were losing Marines killed or wounded. We are there five years early on our bases using solar and wind."

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More than 2,500 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks, but similar humanitarian tragedies will continue to occur there and in Iraq and Syria unless ISIS is degraded and destroyed, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said Wednesday.
navy, ray mabus, mediterranean, crisis, destroy
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2016-19-01
Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 12:19 PM
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