GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday the uprising in Iraq by an Islamic militant group is “as dangerous as it gets,” and that the Obama administration must reunite with Arab nation partners to stop the surge.
“You can’t just fire missiles and come home,” the Michigan lawmaker told “Fox News Sunday.”
Rogers and others say the situation goes far beyond Iraq’s borders and is a major problem because some of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant fighters, or ISIS, have passports, which allows them to be trained — or “radicalized” – in the region and return to Europe and the United States.
He argued that another major concern is that at least some of the fighters in the Al Qaeda-connected group are “seasoned combat veterans.”
“It’s a jihadist Disneyland,” he said. “We need to do something to stop the momentum.”
Rogers and others also offer as proof of the situation that a Florida man joined Islamic extremists and last month in Syria carried out a suicide bombing against government forces.
Roger specifically called for Obama to work with Arab League partners, who include Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and for U.S. military support to help end the sectarian civil war.
Obama on Friday said he would not send troops in Iraq, but left open the possibility of military action.
The U.S. on Saturday moved the Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush into the Arabian Gulf.
The Islamic militant group last week swept across northern Iraq and captured two major cities — Mosul and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit.
Iraqi government officials said on Sunday ISIS fighters were trying to capture Tal Afar in northern Iraq and raining down rockets seized last week from military arms depots.
The government, meanwhile, bolstered its defenses around Baghdad a day after hundreds of Shiite men paraded through the streets with arms in response to a call by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for Iraqis to defend their country. ISIS has vowed to attack Baghdad, but its advance to the south seems to have stalled in recent days.
Meanwhile, Iraqi troops, many of them armed and trained by the U.S., are fleeing in disarray, surrendering vehicles, weapons and ammunition to the powerful extremist group, which also fights in Syria.