Continued from page 1

“You have to have a specific strategy to defeat ISIS, and that means, among other things, understanding that ISIS has obliterated the boundaries between Syria and Iraq — main headquarters being in Syria,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “So we have to get better weapons to the [Kurdish] Peshmerga. We have to have airstrikes in Syria as well as Iraq. We have to arm the FSA, the Free Syrian Army.”

On Sunday, Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen broke a six-week siege imposed by the Islamic State on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli, and a suicide bombing killed at least 14 people in the western province of Anbar, officials said.

Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, an army spokesman, said the operation started at dawn and forces entered the town shortly after midday.

Speaking live on state TV, Gen. al-Moussawi said the forces suffered “some causalities” but did not give a specific number. He said fighting was “still ongoing to clear the surrounding villages.”

Breaking the siege was a “big achievement and an important victory” he said, for all involved: the Iraqi army troops, Kurdish fighters and Shiite militias.

Turkmen lawmaker Fawzi Akram al-Tarzi said the forces entered the town from two directions and were distributing aid to residents.

With much more needed to turn the tide in Iraq, the message Sunday from some U.S. lawmakers was clear: It’s time for the White House to step up.

Taking it slow and coalescing around a plan with NATO is “not wrong; it’s just very, very late in the game,” Mr. Rogers said.

Even so, Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, said the U.S. and its allies must wage the fight in a thoughtful way.

“I think, frankly, there’s way too much emphasis on acting now and doing something immediately instead of being smart about what we do,” the Oklahoma Republican told ABC’s “This Week.” “I think the elements of a strategy are already there. We know we’re going to use air power. We know we’re going to use special operators. We know we’re going to have to build alliances on the ground.”

He said Mr. Obama and Nouri al-Maliki, as Iraqi prime minister, allowed Islamic extremism to fester in Iraq and Syria for too long, but that finger-pointing needs to give way to cooperation.

“I think the important thing for the president here is to move with Congress,” he said.”That is, to not do this on his own, to make everybody put their fingerprints on the decision and say yea or nay and go home and justify it.”

This article is based in part on wire service reports.