ISIS Executes Additional Hostage; Graham, Reed Divided on Use of American Ground Troops
The militant terrorist group Islamic State (IS, also ISIS or ISIL) claims to have executed another Western citizen. ISIS released a video on Friday showing the decapitation of Alan Henning, a Briton who was captured while engaging in humanitarian work in the Middle East. Additionally, the group threatened to kill Peter Kassig, a former Army Ranger who had established a humanitarian organization to aid refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria, where ISIS has a strong presence.
As ISIS continues to threaten to kill hostages, Western nations continue to debate how best to defeat the group. One of the most divisive questions has been whether the United States will send ground troops to Iraq and Syria to battle ISIS. On Sunday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called for use of ground forces against ISIS. “At the end of the day, you cannot destroy ISIL in Syria without a ground component”, he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “So, Mr. President, level with the American people. You need boots on the ground…American soldiers need to go back to Syria and Iraq as part of a coalition”, he said.
Appearing shortly after Senator Graham, Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island called for continued airstrikes, but opposed the use of American ground troops against ISIS. “I think the most effective way to use the best aspects of both countries is our superiority in the air, our ability for intelligence, for surveillance…and getting the Iraqi forces up to speed so that they can conduct military operations on the ground”, he said.
Whether or not the United States sends troops to fight ISIS in the Middle East, another aspect of defeating the group is preventing people from joining. In September, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling on countries to combat terrorist groups’ recruitment efforts. However, this can be a challenge. For instance, the Indonesian government is limited in its abilities to crack down on recruitment efforts. The spokesman for the National Police said that a person could not be charged with a crime unless they have a history of “terrorism activities”. An estimated 200 Southeast Asians are fighting for ISIS, and most of these are reportedly from Indonesia.
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