Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US strategy on ISIS under attack by lawmakers

11 December 2014, 07:02

Washington - The US administration was under fire again on Wednesday, accused of a "flawed" strategy to help end the war in Syria, as a top official admitted training for moderate rebels will only begin next year.

A day after US Secretary of State John Kerry sparred with senators, lawmakers in the House rounded on special envoy to Iraq Brett McGurk for a slow and inadequate response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

"After four months of the US-led air campaign in Iraq and in Syria, ISIS still controls essentially the same amount of territory that it did in the summer, and one of the reasons for this, in my opinion, is the limited nature of this effort," said representative Ed Royce, chairperson of the House foreign affairs committee.

US officials have said that some 1 100 airstrikes have been carried out by the US-led coalition since September.

But in the 2003 conflict against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, "we had a thousand sorties per day", Royce said, adding Iraqis and Kurds fighting ISIS had also been denied the "heavy equipment" they need.

Training to begin in March

In Syria, where the US plan is to train up the moderate US-backed opposition, "these Syrian groups have suffered from dire ammunition shortages in the last several weeks", Royce said.

McGurk defended the US strategy however, and stressed that Washington hoped to begin training the first of about 5 000 Syrian opposition rebels in March 2015.

"Part of the reason is because of the vetting standards and that we're being very careful with this. But we're not sitting on our hands," McGurk insisted, adding the training would take about a year.

Also Read: ISIS jihadists say gay thrown off rooftop

But representative Ted Poe argued: "What are we doing in Syria right now? People are dying in Syria and the cavalry's not showing up til 2016."

"So March of 2016 then we have a plan, then we have fighters then we send them to Syria. There's no telling what ISIS can do in that year or however many months it is," Poe said.

"Does the United States have some other strategic plan, other than arming these folks who aren't going to show up til 2016, dropping bombs that is marginal whether it's been successful, helping with military aid to some of these coalition countries?"

"Yes, the train and equip program is just one small element in an overall campaign," McGurk shot back.

"This is a multi-year campaign. Phase one is Iraq. What we're doing in Syria right now is degrading ISIL's capacity."

Kerry on Tuesday called on senators to give the US administration a new war powers authorization to continue the fight against ISIS.

But he was heavily criticised by some of the senators, including John McCain, who said that the Obama administration was "doing nothing" to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad from slaughtering his people.


Tags isis us syria

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...