The US policy in Iraq and Syria scrutinized by lawmakers today as president Obama and the administration defends his strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat DAESH. Fox news correspondent john huddy has more from Jerusalem.
The senate armed services committee held a hearing on US policy in Iraq and Syria. Focusing on the DAESH threat coming out of those countries. With several in attendance blasting the Obama administration’s DAESH strategy.
Sen. Ted Cruz: “I’d like to ask the panel first, for your assessment of the current level of success we are seeing in the military campaign against ISIS.” Frederick Kagan: “It is failing senator. That’s I think our assessment generally across the board. It is failing in Iraq, it is failing in Syria, and it is failing across the board in the region.”
The hearing comes shortly after militants took over the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and just days after DAESH seized Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province. The administration calls Ramadi’s loss a setback, but president Obama says we are not losing the battle against the militants.
White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest: “Local forces on the ground in northeast Syria, backed by coalition airstrikes, continue to make advances against ISIL in northeastern Syria. That is the evidence of our strategy working.”
Meantime, the violence is taking a toll on Iraqi citizens. Thousands have been forced to flee Ramadi and are now heading to Baghdad. And in Syria, there’s concern the militants will destroy Palmyra’s historical artifacts. The US is sending more help to Iraqi forces after the fall of Ramadi. Two thousand anti-tank rockets could arrive as early as next week.