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Portman: U.S. must "move and move quickly" to stop ISIS

Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio

Rob Portman said today the Obama administration must move quickly to stop ISIS, the extremist group in Syria which beheaded a second American journalist Tuesday.

In an interview with WVXU, the junior senator from Ohio the situation is much worse because the U.S. did not keep more non-combat forces on the ground when it left Iraq during President Obama's first term.

“We need to move and we need to move quickly,’’ Portman said. “I think we are already in a much worse situation that we would have been in had we kept in Iraq some intelligence, some special operators, and some trainers. I think we could have stopped them.”

Portman does agree with President Obama that it's not necessary to use U.S. ground troops to deal with ISIS, but says there are other steps the administration should take.

“I do believe we can do it without putting boots on the ground,’’ Portman said. “But we have to help others, including the Kurds, who are our allies in the region; including getting the Iraqi army much more engaged in the fight, including providing some of the support from the air but also providing some targeting support.”

“I don’t think we can sit back and allow this group to continue,’’ Portman said. “To stop the beheadings, we’ve got to stop ISIS.”

The Islamic State – also known as ISIS - released a video yesterday (Tuesday) showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, who had been in captivity for over a year. Last month, photojournalist James Foley, another captive of ISIS, was beheaded by the group.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.