Sanders calls for Arab boots on the ground in fight against ISIS

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersPoll shows 36 percent support Trump's reelection, 43 percent prefer generic Democrat Trump's approval rating holds steady at 45 percent amid government shutdown: poll Senate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday warned that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) would not be defeated unless Arab countries send in ground troops to battle the terror group.

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“The war against ISIS, a brutal and dangerous organization, cannot be won unless the Muslim nations which are most threatened — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Iran and Jordan — become fully engaged, including the use of ground troops,” Sanders, who is weighing a bid for the presidency in 2016, said in a statement.

“The U.S. and the international community should be fully supportive but the leadership in this war must come from the Muslim world,” he said.

Sanders specifically singled out Saudi Arabia, saying the “autocratic royal family” spent more than $59 billion on defense in 2013.

“They should not expect that American taxpayers and the U.S armed forces will do their work for them,” he said.

The fight against the terror organization “cannot be perceived as West versus East, Christian versus Muslim or the U.S. versus ISIS” but rather as a “war in which Muslim countries throughout the region are standing up for their beliefs against an extremist and brutal organization which has grossly distorted the tenets of Islam,” according to Sanders.

Last week the U.S., along with Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, carried out airstrikes on ISIS targets inside Syria. Qatar played a supporting role in the operation.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinListen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race MORE (D-Mich.) said the contributions could mark a “historic moment” in the fight against extremism.

Sanders also rebuked Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCannabis company says CBS refused to run its Super Bowl ad advocating for medical marijuana Breaking the impasse on shutdown, border security McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader MORE (R-Ohio), who, over the weekend, said the U.S. might have “no choice” but to send ground troops into Syria to fight ISIS.

“The use of U.S. combat troops in Syria could well get us into a Mideast quagmire and perpetual warfare in the region,” Sanders said. “Instead of spending tens of billions on war in the Mideast, we should be investing in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of decent-paying jobs here at home.”