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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersStudy: Early unemployment cutoff would cost 16M people 0B Machine Gun Kelly reveals how Bernie Sanders aided him in his relationship with Megan Fox Overnight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response 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 LevinThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden officials brace for worst despite vaccine data Michigan GOP unveils dozens of election overhaul bills after 2020 loss How President Biden can hit a home run MORE (D-Mich.) said the contributions could mark a “historic moment” in the fight against extremism.

Sanders also rebuked Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWhat's a party caucus chair worth? Biden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' 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.”