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Latest update : 2015-11-19

John McCain calls for 10,000 US ground troops in Syria

© FRANCE 24

The United States could ‘take out’ the Islamic State (IS) group with the deployment of 10,000 ground troops, US Senator John McCain has told FRANCE 24 in an exclusive interview.

The Republican former presidential candidate said the IS group posed “a direct threat” to the United States that could be dealt a knock-out blow with a ground deployment in Syria.

“Ground troops [means] about 10,000 Americans with a coalition of Arab countries, hopefully NATO countries, maybe even France, where we could go in on the ground with sufficient air support to take out ISIS,” McCain said, using another acronym for the Islamic State militants. “They are not invincible, there are not unbeatable.”

McCain lashed out at what he called the “USA’s lack of leadership” on dealing with the emergence of the IS group in Syria, saying America “should have seen what this movement is all about” before it established a strong territorial presence in Iraq and Syria.

The Arizona Senator, who lost the 2008 US presidential race to Barack Obama, was critical however of any move by the French towards an alliance with Russia in dealing with the IS group threat.

“I have great respect for President [François] Hollande, but I firmly disagree with an alliance with The Russians,” he said. “Bashar al-Assad, who’s been sponsored by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, is the guy that killed thousands with chemical weapons. He’s a war criminal.”

By FRANCE 24

Archives

2017-01-20 Africa

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Tony Elumelu is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the chairman of leading pan-African financial services group the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and the founder of the...

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2017-01-18 Donald Trump

Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would be 'a terrible mistake'

Our guest is Daniel Kurtzer, a former US ambassador to Egypt and Israel. He believes US President-elect Donald Trump's choice of David Friedman to be US ambassador to Israel is a...

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2017-01-17 Israeli-Palestinian conflict

'Donald Trump is a great friend of Israel'

Our guest is Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party in Israel and a former Israeli finance minister. He reacts coolly to France hosting a Middle East peace conference...

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2017-01-13 Russia

US policy towards Putin's Russia: A new era?

Our guest has been making waves recently with her outspoken criticism of US strategy towards Russia. Whether it likes it or not, she says, the West is already at war with Russia...

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2017-01-11 Barack Obama

'Yes we did': Obama defends his legacy

Barack Obama has delivered his farewell speech in Chicago, where it all began for him. A message of hope but also a warning about the frailty of democracy. He was hoping that...

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