Graham, McCain want U.S.-led force against ISIS in Syria

Updated 10:36 AM EST, Mon November 30, 2015
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Story highlights

Lindsey Graham said that the U.S. should lead a force of Arab troops against ISIS in Syria or risk an attack on American soil

John McCain said, "We're going to fight them there or we're going to fight them here"

(CNN) —  

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Monday the U.S. needs to commit more troops to the Middle East in the fight against ISIS or, ultimately, risk an attack on American soil.

“It’s this simple: We’re going to fight them there or we’re going to fight them here in Washington, D.C., or Phoenix, Arizona. And they are metastasizing,” McCain, an Arizona senator and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”

McCain and Graham, who is running a longshot bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, spoke with Camerota from Irbil, Iraq.

“I’m suggesting that we create a regional army to go into Syria because there’s nobody left in Syria to destroy ISIL. And if we don’t destroy ISIL in Syria they’re going to hit the American homeland,” Graham told CNN.

RELATED: The inconvenient truth: There’s no easy military answer to war on ISIS

Graham said that if the U.S. leads a regional force to fight ISIS in Syria and remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, it will find support from Arab leaders.

“We were talking to the now-King of Saudi Arabia (Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) before he became king and he told John McCain, who he admires greatly, ‘You can have our army, you just gotta deal with Assad.’ The emir of Qatar said ‘I’ll pay for the operation,’ Graham said. “But they’re not going to just fight ISIL and let Damascus fall into the hands of the Iranians. Assad has to go.”