Dem Rep Gabbard: Syria Strategy ‘Very Confusing,’ ‘There’s No Clarity’

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) criticized the US’ ground strategy in Syria was “very confusing,” adding “There’s no clarity” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Gabbard said “the real issue is what are we doing about it? What’s the strategy on the ground in Syria? Because that’s something that I’m finding very confusing. There’s no clarity on exactly who our enemy is as the United States and what kind of mission we’re trying to accomplish. We’re seeing [these] very contradictory statements saying that — from the administration saying that they’re going after ISIS, but in the same token, they are allowing Turkey to bomb the Kurds, who have been our most effective, trustworthy ground allies fighting against ISIS, both in Syria and Iraq. They’re saying that they are focused on getting rid of Assad, and both directly and indirectly helping these rebels, many — the vast majority of which are made up of al Qaeda, al-Nusra, and other Islamic extremists groups, including ISIS, people who are sworn enemies, because they are working to overthrow Assad. There are so many issues here with what’s happening on the ground that I think have to be dealt with, otherwise we’re going to continue to see what we’re seeing, which is ISIS, and these Islamic extremists groups getting stronger, and if Assad is over thrown, then we’re going to see the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, and a greater threat to the people there, and people around the world than we’ve seen so far.”

She added, “I’m strongly opposed to a no-fly zone because of what it would entail.” Gabbard continued that those who support a no-fly zone should answer, “are you willing to send American and coalition troops on the ground in Syria to enforce a no-fly zone? Are you willing to have American planes and service members from our Air Force there enforcing that?” She further argued, “what we’ll see then is kicking off of a major conflict, that folks who are advocating for have not clearly explained what are the after effects of this. There are so many other issues with the no-fly zone that those proposing have it not addressed that I think they should be put on the record to explain why they support it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett