Tags: Ron DeSantis | ISIS | Syria rebels | weapons

Rep. DeSantis: Cancel Passports of Those Who Want to Join ISIS

By    |   Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:17 AM

Congress should cancel passports of Americans and Westerners looking to join the Islamic State (ISIS) as part of the strategy to combat the threat the terrorist organization posed to the United States, Rep. Ron DeSantis told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I would recognize there's a threat to our homeland with American citizens and people from Western countries that have passports. And, I think, the House should have acted to cancel those passports and keep them from being able to come back," the Florida Republican said Thursday.

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The House voted Wednesday to approve President Barack Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels battling ISIS, but did not address the subject of Americans who wanted to join the terrorist militants. The Senate is expected to debate the president's proposal on Thursday.

DeSantis said he voted against the measure because he didn't think "our interests are aligned" with the Syrian rebels, indicating that many had fought with terrorist groups in the past.

"I don't believe in this idea of moderate rebels. If you look at them, they're basically Mujahideen fighters. Most of them are anti-American," he said. "A lot of them have actually worked with al-Qaida. So, I don't they're our friends.

"I think their interests are more in defeating (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad rather than defeating ISIS."

Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan told "Morning Joe" that he believed the Syrian rebels were made up of "folks who have left Syria and want to come back," and emphasized the need for their assistance to combat ISIS. He said the U.S. could protect itself from attack by containing ISIS in Syria.

"The bottom line is these folks at some point want to attack the United States. (ISIS) may not have the wherewithal now. But, if we give them a safe haven inside of Syria, and we don't do anything, I think, that's something that we would regret. If we're going to fail, we should fail on the side of trying to have an aggressive, active force that's inside Syria pushing back.

"The bottom line is that we need some folks on the ground in Syria. I think we've got to penetrate Syria. We've got to start another front in this war," Ryan said.

DeSantis said it was important for the U.S. to arm Kurdish forces, calling them a "trustworthy ally," and suggested the focus of the fight against ISIS should center on Iraq, which he called "the first phase" of the battle.

Ryan predicted Obama would receive "pushback, I think, from Congress, from the American people" if he wanted to employ U.S. ground troops in the fight against ISIS.

"I'm not for U.S. ground troops, and (Obama) can come back, but he'll have a heck of a time convincing us," Ryan said.

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Congress should cancel passports of Americans and Westerners looking to join the Islamic State as part of the strategy to combat the threat the terrorist group poses, said GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
Ron DeSantis, ISIS, Syria rebels, weapons
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:17 AM
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