Two US senators say the ISIL terrorist group “poses a direct threat to the United States” and have blamed President Barack Obama for the crisis that the group has created in Iraq and Syria.
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham wrote in the National Review on Monday that the rise of ISIL is the result of Obama’s refusal to attack Syria last September.
They also argued that ISIL was able to flourish because Obama did not leave behind a residual American force in Iraq in 2011, rejected the idea of training and arming Syrian rebels sooner, and decided not to order airstrikes against the group in Iraq last fall.
“As a result, the situation in Iraq and Syria has descended into a crisis that poses a direct threat to the United States. Worse yet, our options for countering this threat are fewer and far worse than they were just a few years ago,” they wrote.
“If we fail to learn from the mistakes of the past few years — if we fail to pursue an aggressive, realistic strategy for victory, the ISIS threat will only grow stronger,” they added, using another acronym for ISIL.
On Monday, the US and its allies started airstrikes against ISIL in Syria. The US military has already conducted some 174 airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq since mid-August.
The ISIL terrorists, some of whom have been trained by the US in Jordan and Turkey to destabilize the Syrian government, control Raqqa and sections of Aleppo in the north and Hasakeh in the northeast as well as most of Deir Ezzor in the east.
The terror group sent back its militants into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
The ISIL terrorists are notorious for carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations.