Catalina Camia --- USA Today
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is opposed to President Obama’s plan to train and equip Syrian rebels as a way to combat the Islamic State.
“It’s a mistake to arm them,” Paul, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, said Monday on CBS This Morning. “Most of the arms we’ve given to the so-called moderate rebels have wound up in the hands of ISIS because ISIS simply takes it from them, or it’s given to them, or we mistakenly actually give it to some of the radicals. So the intervention in Syria has created a save haven for ISIS and has made our problem much more difficult.”
Paul’s comment comes as Congress tries this week to act on Obama’s request for $500 million to arm Syrian rebels — as outlined in the president’s address to the nation last week on strategy to ultimately destroy the militant group known as ISIS or ISIL.
While congressional leaders such as House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have endorsed the president’s request, there is disagreement among the rank-and-file in Congress on whether U.S. arms to Syrian rebels may be used against American forces or their allies trying to combat the Islamic State. It’s unclear whether there is enough dissension in Congress to thwart Obama’s plan.