In an interview with CNN on Sunday, McCain said the Pentagon should send Special Forces troops and forward air controllers to supplement US-led coalition airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Senator John McCain, a committed Republican hawk, says the United States must strike both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ISIL simultaneously to win the fight against the terrorist group.
Since September 23, the US and some of its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. US warplanes have also conducted hundreds of strikes against ISIL in Iraq since mid-August. The air campaign has largely failed to halt ISIL advances.
“There has to be a fundamental re-evaluation of what we’re doing because we are not — we are not ‘degrading and ultimately destroying ISIS’,” McCain said, using an alternative acronym for the terror group.
“They’re winning and we’re not,” McCain said of ISIL, whose terrorists were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.
He went on to say that the US should provide more weapons to both Peshmerga fighters in Iraq and militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army, which is operating in Syria.
“You have to go after ISIS and Bashar al-Assad at the same time or you will not succeed,” McCain said.
The White House has outlined a $500 million program to train and arm 5,000 “moderate” militants in Syria to fight against ISIL and the Assad government, but according to the Pentagon, the number would be something between 12,000 and 15,000.
McCain said that the United States must revamp its strategy since it “can’t afford to let this continue.”
“The stronger ISIS gets, the greater the threat to the United States of America. That’s what we have to understand and that’s why tough decisions have to be made and not gradually,” he said. “We have to completely revamp our strategy, which clearly is not succeeding.”
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011 with ISIL terrorists currently controlling parts of Syria and Iraq.
The United States and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.