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Santorum: We Should Send Troops And Air Forces To Iraq, But Not Syria

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum argued the US should send more troops into Iraq to fight ISIS, but that Syria isn’t “a viable front” for the US on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Wolf.”

Santorum said regarding the counter-ISIS effort, “we need to, I say, focus our effort in Iraq, not in Syria, where it’s an absolute mess, but in Iraq, we have a possibility of arming the Kurds, cooperating with the Kurdish — the Peshmerga, cooperating with the Iraqis, who want to fight and begin to move them out of Iraq. That I think, has to be the first priority.” He added, “I’m not for sending troops to Syria, but I am for sending more troops to Iraq.”

He later stated, “you deal with them where you have the front to be able to deal with them. Right now, Syria is not a viable front for [the] United States or United States troops. The viable front is in fact in Iraq, and that’s where we need to put our boots on the ground and put our air forces in.”

Santorum was asked if he supports a no-fly zone in Syria, he responded, “the president has put us in a situation in Syria that I think is untenable. We have the Russians in there right now flying. We have them attempting to help Assad. We — now the president has seemed like, well, you know, Assad can stay for a while, and that’s okay. We have created an absolute cesspool in Syria, and I don’t think intervening in that is a good idea now. But we have clear opportunities in Iraq. We have troops on the ground in Iraq. We are flying missions in Iraq. And we should be stepping up those to actually try to move them out of Iraq.”

When asked if he would pull troops out of Sinai, Santorum answered, “I think we need to keep our treaty commitments between egypt and israel. And if our israeli alleys would want them to continue to be there, and the Egyptians want us to maintain a presence there, I think we should continue on. I’m not particularly concerned about them. again, we have to hit at the root. the root is isis, and isis is going to continue to be powerful unless we begin to take some of their ground.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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