Dem pushes back against Obama: ‘Clearly ISIS has gained momentum’

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Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardEx-DNC official: I’m ‘neutral’ in Wasserman Schultz’s race Wasserman Schultz faces million-dollar primary challenger Overnight Defense: House panel approves 0B defense bill MORE (D-Hawaii) said Sunday that she disagrees with President Obama’s assessment that the United States-led coalition is not losing to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East.

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“Clearly ISIS has gained momentum, in particular over the last week, as we’ve seen the ground that they gained both in Iraq and Syria,” Gabbard said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi last week and later pushed into the Syrian city Palmyra. Obama told The Atlantic last Tuesday, after Ramadi fell, that “No, I don’t think we’re losing. … There’s no doubt there was a tactical setback.”

Gabbard, a combat veteran, said the U.S. coalition and the Iraqi government should look to arm new potential fighters in Iraq to push back against ISIS.

“You have the Kurdish Peshmerga and Sunni tribesmen who are literally begging, for arms, heavy weapons, ammunition, to be able to fight against ISIS to protect their families and their tribal lands, their territories,” she said. “But to this point both the U.S. and the central Iraqi government have failed to provide that, and therefore ISIS continues to be able to grow.”