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Cruz won't rule out US ground forces in fight against ISIS

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP clears key hurdle on Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, setting up Monday confirmation Texas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE (R-Texas) said on Sunday that American ground forces are not currently needed to fight Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, adding that Iraqi Kurds are ready to fight ISIS militants, but lack sufficient weapons.

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“I don’t believe right now we need American boots on the ground, and the reason is, we have boots on the ground already, with the Kurds,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The Peshmerga are trained, effective fighters. They are close allies of us.

“Just today, I met with the president of Kurdistan. And he made clear that the Peshmerga are ready to fight. They are fighting ISIS,” Cruz added.

Cruz said the U.S. government, however, is not effectively providing weapons to the Kurds, adding that current policy “makes no sense.”

“They’re shuttling it all to Baghdad, and Baghdad is very slow in getting it to the Kurds.

“We need to arm the Kurds and we need to use the Peshmerga as boots on the ground,” Cruz said. “They’re effective. They’re ready. They’re our close allies and we need to use that in close coordination with overwhelming air power to take out ISIS.”

“We need to stand with the Kurds,” he added.

Cruz did not rule out a role for U.S. combat troops in the future, however.

“Look, we need to accomplish the mission and the mission should be defeating ISIS before they succeed in carrying out more horrific acts of terror, before they succeed in murdering Americans. If need be, we should go that step. But it should be driven by the mission.”

Cruz also said the “Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy” has been “consistently wrong.”

“It’s been wrong on ISIS. It’s been wrong on Russia. It’s been wrong on Iran,” he said.

“And when it comes to ISIS, our policy of leading from behind, we’ve seen essentially photo-op foreign policy, where we drop a bomb here or a missile there,” Cruz added.

“We need a focused, direct military objective of taking out and destroying ISIS.”