US President Barack Obama’s request for new powers to launch military operations against ISIL in Syria and Iraq has sparked a national debate.
Undecided on what might be the right strategy to defeat the Islamic State militant group, the sticking point appears to be the use of ground troops.
The proposed powers must now be approved by Congress.
Michael McCaul, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman told euronews the president needed more flexibility to tackle the jihadists:
“The current strategy is really one more of containment rather than defeating and destroying ISIS. The air strikes have had limited success, though what is missing right now is a ground force, in Syria particularly, and it cannot all come from the United States. But it has to be US leadership,” he said.
The White House has warned that ISIL could pose a wider threat and restated the president’s call for no geographic limitations on US military operations
“If we pass a piece of legislation that says, you know, Congress has authorised the president to carry out the use of military force against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, we don’t want anybody in ISIL to be left with the impression that if they move to some neighboring country that they will be essentially in a safe haven,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Our Washington correspondent Stefan Grobe added:
“As Chairman McCaul put it, the barbarians are at the gate, America needs to fight them. But no one here is in favour of sending US ground troops into the area. What Washington wants is that countries like Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia step up to the plate and do the fighting.”