- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Monday that the Obama administration should be targeting al Qaeda splinter groups in Iraq with drone strikes and Tomahawk missiles.

Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican, said the Iraqi military needs air support and the White House has missed opportunities to hit the terrorist groups in Iraq.

“I just think that we’ve lost an opportunity,” Mr. Royce said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “About four months ago, this began to unfold and right then we had a target. We had the encampment. We should have hit it. Until we do, I am concerned that we really haven’t given the one asset that is really needed for the Iraqi military, and that is air supremacy.”

Over the weekend, members of Congress called on the Obama administration to get more involved in confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) that in Iraq.

President Obama said last week that the U.S. would not send troops and said Iraqis must take full responsibility for their national security.

Mr. Royce noted that the ISIS knocked off a bank in Mosul last week, seizing roughly $450 million as they advanced toward Baghdad.

SEE ALSO: Criticism of Obama mounts as Islamists sweep through Iraq

“This is now the richest terrorist network in the world,” Mr. Royce said. “So the failure to act over the last four months and especially over the last 30 days when those columns were on the march is in and of itself, I think, a blunder.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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