Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll learn about President Obama’s strategy for dealing with the escalating violence in Iraq along with everyone else when the president addresses the nation tomorrow.
The president was originally scheduled to meet with Congressional leaders in private today, but that meeting is being pushed back to Thursday, coincidentally, September 11th. “What I would expect to hear tomorrow is that the president is going to give permission to enter Syria with the capability of doing a great deal of damage at the headquarters of ISIS,” Grassley says. “I think that’s necessary.”
Grassley, a Republican, says the U.S. can’t stand by and watch as Western journalists are beheaded, saying he’d back air strikes in Syria that target the leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. “The only reluctance I would have to do that is, ISIS is fighting the president of Syria and we’ve wanted to get rid of him as well,” Grassley says, “but I guess, once in a while, war makes strange bedfellows.”
A few weeks ago, President Obama okayed surgical airstrikes on ISIS strongholds in Iraq. When U-S-backed Iraqi soldiers retreated, some weaponry was left behind which Islamic State troops seized. Grassley says there needs to be more strikes to take out the maneuverability of those advancing militants.
Grassley says, “Now, when you see them going around with machine guns on Toyota pickups, stuff like that, there’s a great deal of mobility there but I don’t think it has the technical capability of some of the equipment that they stole from us.”
The number-one responsibility of the federal government, Grassley says, is to protect Americans. Members of ISIS have taken over wide sections of western and northern Iraq and they’ve killed dozens of people at a time including at public executions and even crucifixions.