Obama ‘ready for Syria ground war’ as Kurds flee

U.S. Congressman says Obama was reviewing his refusal to send ground troops after advisers said they are needed

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The United States will have to resort to sending “some troops on the ground” in Syria should President Barack Obama aim to destroy the Islamic State or Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, a senior U.S. Congressman told this week’s Sunday Times.

The west is facing a “long, hard war” against ISIS, Republican Peter King said, adding that Obama was reviewing his refusal to send ground troops after military advisers said they would be needed.

These remarks come after 70,000 Syrian Kurds poured into Turkey since Friday fleeing an offensive by ISIS militants in northeastern Syria, the U.N.'s refugee agency said Sunday.

Infographic: Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants pour into Turkey
Infographic: Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants pour into Turkey

By ruling out sending troops to Syria, King said Obama is sounding an “uncertain trumpet.”

Following General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, address to Congress in which he said that ground intervention may be necessary; King said the “military message is getting through” to Obama.

“The president is going further than he ever thought he would,” he told the Sunday Times, praising Obama’s decision to deploy 2,000 troops to Iraq.

King, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and chairman of its counterterrorism and intelligence group, also said CIA officers and Special Forces would need to be a part of a ground invasion.

“We should basically be putting as much fear into [ISIS] as possible, using every weapon at our disposal,” King is quoted by British newspaper as saying.

King disagrees with the White House’s stance that ISIS’ threat is contained within the Middle East, citing the threat posed by Europeans, who do not require an entry visa into the U.S., who have travelled to join the militant group.

“That’s thousands of Europeans who can come right into America. It’s very difficult, whether it’s the British, the French or anyone, to be monitoring all of their people who are going back and forth [to the Middle East],” he explained.

In a rare-show of agreement between the Democrats and the Republicans, the U.S. Senate had approved a bill that would allow funding to arm and train moderate opposition groups in Syria to enable them to fight against ISIS. King voted for the bill, requested by Obama.

(With AFP)