US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said for the second time that she would consider arming the Kurds, in order to hasten the Islamic State’s (ISIS) fall in Raqqa.
“I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq,” she said during Sunday’s presidential debate.
“And I know there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles,” she said, referring to Turkey. “But I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground […] take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.”
Clinton added that she hopes that by the time she becomes a president, ISIS is pushed out of Iraq. “I do think that there is a good chance that we can take Mosul.”
“There’s a lot of very important planning going on, and some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, that we all need to be in this,” she stated. “And that takes a lot of planning and preparation.”
Moreover, the democratic candidate said she would target ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “I think our targeting of Al Qaida leaders — and I was involved in a lot of those operations, highly classified ones — made a difference. So I think that could help.”
The Republican candidate Donald Trump did not mention the Kurds, instead suggesting that the US work with the Syrian President Assad and Russian President Putin to fight ISIS.
“I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS, and Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up because of our weak foreign policy,” Trump said.
This is the second time Clinton has mentioned the Kurds in a presidential debate.
“We also have to intensify our air strikes against ISIS and eventually support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to actually take out ISIS in Raqqa, end their claim of being a Caliphate,” Clinton said in September’s presidential debate.
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