Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman: Containing ISIS Is A 'Joke'

Richard Burr interviewed on Fox News

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said on Nov. 29 that it is a "joke" to discuss containing ISIS.

"We've got to stop talking about containment, and we've got to talk about elimination of the terrorist threat," Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told "Fox News Sunday."

The senator said that, due to the widespread reach of ISIS, the time for containment is long gone.

"It is proven that ISIS is in 30 different countries, they control eight provinces of countries," Burr explained. "They've got a reach that goes throughout Europe and North America.

"So, to talk about containment is really a joke. The reality is that ISIS may be geographically contained in Syria and Iraq, but their efforts around the world to project terrorism and to commit terrorism is as robust today as it's ever been."

The senator said that Americans do not face any specific or credible threats domestically or internationally, but that is no reason to rest easy.

"For the past 12 months there have been more threads of threats both here at home and around the world than we've seen since 9/11," Burr said. "The risk remains high."

Burr does not trust Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he is open to assembling "whatever coalition will eliminate ISIS," even if that includes partnering with Russia.

"But Russia sure complicates the options we have in Syria, with the amount of aircraft, with the amount of arms that they have there," he explained. "If we can focus those on ISIS versus the moderate opposition forces that are trying to defeat Assad, we could make a real impact, but that's going to take a great deal of diplomacy that we have yet to see."

Russia has recently conducted an aggressive series of air strikes in Syria, although people have accused the country's military of primarily targeting civilian areas, according to Time.

Regardless of America's relationship with Russia, however, Burr maintained that it is essential to arm groups like the Kurds "to create a safe haven" and "no fly zone" to stop Syrian refugees from leaving the country, according to Fox.

"But only with American leadership will that happen," he said, adding that Obama has no strategy to fight the extremist group.

Sources: Fox, Time / Photo Credit: Screenshot/Fox

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