WASHINGTON, D.C. ― During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, Feb. 9, on worldwide threats, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) emphasized that Arab partners are integral in the fight to destroy ISIS. Heinrich also discussed the ongoing effort to dismantle ISIS’s financial resources.
The Committee received testimony from Director Of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr. and Director Of The Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart, United States Marine Corps.
During the hearing, Heinrich stressed that the effort to destroy ISIS should not include American ground forces on the front lines in Syria, but rather from U.S. Arab partners. “I have always believed that the ground war against ISIS must be won by our Arab partners, rather than by American ground forces,” Heinrich said in the hearing. “And so it was therefore pretty encouraging to finally hear Saudi Arabia and the UAE, over the weekend, voice some openness to putting ground forces in Syria.”
Heinrich questioned intelligence officials regarding the military capability of Saudi and UAE ground forces and for their assessment regarding the likelihood of the proposal.
Heinrich also emphasized the need for U.S. coalition effort to dismantle ISIS’s financial resources, such as escalating tactics to target oil wellheads, road tankers, and cash storage sites. Heinrich is supporting the fight to restrict ISIS’s source of revenue, which include illicit oil sales, taxation and extortion, looting of banks and personal property, and smuggling of antiquities.