- The Washington Times - Friday, April 7, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that Syrian President Bashar Assad must go if the United States is serious about reducing the threat of radical terrorism in the Middle East.

The Florida Republican has applauded the airstrikes that President Trump has launched in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack and said “as long as Bashar al-Assad is in Syria and is in control, not only will he continue to commit crimes, but you are going to … have radical Sunni jihadists in Syria as long as Assad is in power.”

“Even if you destroy ISIS, they are already being replaced by the al Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra groups,” Mr. Rubio said on CNN’s “New Day.” “So the removal of Assad is in furtherance of our other goal, which is to defeat and not allow these radical jihadist groups to continue to grow.”

Mr. Rubio was a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy and has long held that the United States must take a more muscular approach on the global stage.

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

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