McCain calls for dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State

EDGARTOWN Mass. Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:55pm EDT

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during a hearing about border security by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington July 9, 2014.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during a hearing about border security by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington July 9, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) - Republican Senator John McCain called on Wednesday for a dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and said the attacks should also extend into Syria.

McCain told Reuters that the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants should serve as a turning point for President Barack Obama's deliberations on how to deal with the group.

"First of all, you've got to dramatically increase the airstrikes. And those airstrikes have to be devoted to Syria as well," McCain said in a telephone interview.

Of the video of Foley's beheading, McCain said: "I don't think there's any doubt that this horrible video on the Internet is bound to have an impact on the American people. The nature of the brutality of this organization has been brought home by this."

McCain said hitting Islamic State targets in Syria is necessary because the militants have captured military equipment in the Iraqi city of Mosul which they seized in June and moved it into enclaves inside Syria.

"We have to defeat them, not stop them," he said.

The Arizona senator also said the United States should arm Iraqi Kurds and help arrange a reconciliation between Shi'ites and Sunnis in Iraq.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (40)
SunnyDaySam wrote:
Sure thing John. Of course, we’ll have to tax the ‘job creator’ millionaires to pay for it this time, since they didn’t pay for the last two GOP wars.

Aug 20, 2014 3:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Timbuk3 wrote:
There is always enough money – for airstrikes and bombs and war.

Not saying they should not destroy ISIL, but this should not be paid for on the backs of the US middle class and poor.

Aug 20, 2014 3:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lensmanb wrote:
Kill them, Kill them all.

Aug 20, 2014 3:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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