Rand Paul's strategy to combat ISIS militants in Iraq would involve having regional forces such as Iran, Syria, and Turkey potentially taking the lead.
"In no way have I said that we shouldn't do anything about ISIS. In fact, I have said that I would call a joint session of Congress if I was president," Paul told Sean Hannity on his radio show Wednesday. "I would bring Congress back from the recess and would tell them why ISIS is a threat and I would ask for the legislative permission that goes with the Constitution in order to take care of them militarily."
In the interview, Paul said he believes Congressional approval is "appropriate" and could pass overwhelmingly. Paul also said Iran, Syria, and Turkey be "enjoined" in fighting ISIS because they have the ability, means, and incentive to do so.
"Right now, the two allies that have the same goal would be Iran and Syria, to wipe out ISIS. They also have the means and the ability and they also have the incentive to do so because Assad's clinging for power and clinging for life there," Paul said. "So I also think that Turks really should be enjoined in this. And I do think that there can be a role for America. But I would rather see the president come to a joint session of Congress, asks for permission, and if he gets it, I still would like to see the ground troops and the battles being fought by those who live there. We can give both technological as well as air support. That could be the decisive factor in this."
In the interview, Paul also reiterated his argument that arming rebels in Syria abetted the expansion of ISIS.
"I am concerned also that I think we have to understand why ISIS was allowed to get so large and why they've been so successful," Paul said. "I think part of the reason they've gotten so large is that we have armed Islamic allies of theirs — Islamic rebels — in Syria to degrade Assad's regime and Assad couldn't then take care of ISIS."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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