Boehner on ISIS: ‘We Ought to Give the President What He’s Asking For’

Melanie Arter | September 11, 2014 | 2:10pm EDT
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House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a press conference Thursday criticized President Barack Obama’s plan to authorize air strikes against the terrorist group ISIS and arm Syrian rebels without sending in ground troops, before signaling that Congress should support his military strategy.

“An F-16 is not a strategy, and air strikes alone will not accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish, and the president’s made clear that he doesn’t want U.S. boots on the ground,” said Boehner.

“Somebody’s boots have to be on the ground, and so I do believe that what the president has asked for as the commander-in-chief has this authority to train these Syrian rebels, and frankly, we ought to give the president what he’s asking for,” he added.

As reported, Obama outlined his four-part strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS Wednesday night that includes air strikes and “support for partner forces on the ground,” but would not include “American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

At Thursday’s press conference, Boehner was asked whether arming Syrian fighters is “a trustworthy and competent approach.”

“Based on all the information that I’ve looked at, the Free Syrian Army has by and large been very well vetted by our intelligence officials. Today they’re in a fight against Assad. They’re in a fight against ISIL, and they’re in a fight against another al Qaeda affiliate in Eastern Syria. And they’re about to get run over,” he said.

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