Politics
3:47 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

U.S. Senators Shaheen, Ayotte Back American Actions In Iraq

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen at a campaign stop in Concord.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen at a campaign stop in Concord.
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators say they support actions being taken in northern Iraq to combat Sunni militants advancing toward the Kurdish capital of Irbil.  

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen says she supports the dual mission of stopping the advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and providing humanitarian relief to thousands of Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar.  But she’s wary of expanding U.S. involvement in the conflict.

“I think that we should not be sending troops back into Iraq.  And we have to see what the Iraqis do in terms of their internal efforts to form a more unified government," she says.

President Obama has faced criticism in some quarters for taking ground troops off the table. 

In a written statement, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte said she supports "the president’s decision to provide weapons to the Kurds, as well as humanitarian assistance and protection to thousands of civilians who belong to a religious minority threatened with genocide by ISIS.

"However," Ayotte said, "these steps are no substitute for a strategy to address the growing regional threat of ISIS to America’s interests and our homeland."