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Gabbard: White House ‘Needs to Change Its Policy’ On ISIS

Congresswoman and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) argued “the White House needs to change its policy on how it’s dealing with ISIS” on Wednesday’s “On the Record” on the Fox News Channel.

Gabbard said, “Well, I think that the White House needs to change its policy on how it’s dealing with ISIS and how it’s dealing with Iraq and how specifically it’s dealing with this central government in Baghdad that really is dealing with these Shia militias. The Shia-led government that’s backed by Iran. I think it was a positive thing that we heard secretary Ash Carter speaking very honestly and candidly the other day about how the Iraqi Security Forces lacked the will to fight. But what’s frustrating to me and to many others is that the administration still refuses to provide direct arms and equipment and support to the Kurds, and to the Sunni tribes. People who we have fought — the US has fought shoulder-to-shoulder with previously to defeat Al Qaeda, to fight against Al Qaeda. And groups who are now showing that they have the will and the motivation and the courage to fight against ISIS on the ground, but lack the adequate equipment to be able to do so. We have got to recognize that they are our troops on the ground, and we need to support them.”

She added, “The cause of the problem that we’re seeing here of why ISIS continues to be able to maintain a stronghold within iraq and make these recent gains that they’ve made is because of this sectarian divide. And this focus on this central government in Baghdad that’s led by the Shia government and backed by Iran, which has only oppressed the Sunni people, and has created this sectarian divide that ISIS has taken advantage of. You have Sunnis who feel that they have nowhere else to turn, but other than go into the arms of ISIS to protect themselves from the oppression of this Shia-led government. So, that is a big mistake to be continuing to support and prop up this central government in Baghdad, rather than recognizing our goal must be to defeat ISIS, and we need to work with our partners on the ground who share that goal, who are one-pointedly focused on defeating and getting rid of ISIS.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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