Warhawk Lindsey Graham: Jordan onboard to send ground troops to fight ISIL

US Senator: Jordan onboard to send ground troops to fight ISIL

Home Sat Feb 7, 2015 2:38PM

Senior US Senator Lindsey Graham says Jordan, Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states are ready to join a US-led coalition that would send ground troops into Iraq and Syria to fight the ISIL terrorist group.

“Yes. Saudi Arabia is onboard, everybody’s onboard,” Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said when asked if Jordan was willing to participate in a ground campaign against the Takfiri group, according to The Hill.

“They just want us to be part of the mix because they have limited capability,” he said earlier this week before meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah in the US Capitol building.

Abdullah arrived at the White House on Tuesday on a previously scheduled trip to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama. The meeting took place hours after a video emerged online purportedly showing a Jordanian pilot being burned to death by ISIL militants.

Last month, Sen. Graham traveled as part of a congressional delegation to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.

Graham has long called for deploying more US troops to the region to help fight ISIL. During an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, he said 10,000 American “boots on the ground” are required in each of Syria and Iraq to stop ISIL from launching an attack on the United States.

Sending ground troops to Iraq and Syria could prove a liability in the 2016 presidential election in the US.

According to a Pew poll released in October, 55 percent of respondents from both Republican and Democratic parties opposed sending in ground troops to battle ISIL.

US President Barack Obama has requested $8.8 billion to fund the fight against the ISIL terrorist group in his fiscal 2016 budget.

The funds are part of the White House’s $58 billion request to fight foreign wars, officially known as Overseas Contingency Operations.

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