Congressional Democrats were critical Sunday of President Obama’s efforts to stop Islamic militants in the Middle East, suggesting the “mission has been lost” and that U.S. troops might be needed in Iraq.
The criticism follows Islamic State’s unexpected rise in Syria and deadly run across Iraq, which has been met by a U.S. humanitarian effort that includes air strikes on the militant group’s military operations.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., told “Fox News Sunday” that the United States might need ground troops to fight Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS, in Iraq and Syria.
“Ultimately, we may have some boots on the ground there,” said Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s not something I want,” but we cannot “put our head in the sand.”
Engel has been one of the most outspoken Democrats on President Obama’s foreign policy. And his remarks Sunday appear contrary to those made by fellow party members and Americans, according to recent public-opinion polls.
However, fellow congressional Democrat Tulsi Gabbard said Sunday that the Obama administration’s overall mission to thwart Islamic State and other Islamic extremists in the Middle East “has been lost.”