TENNESSEE - Even as militants in Syria release an American citizen, unrest continues to concern the United States. President Barack Obama has authorized reconnaissance flights over Syria as officials consider expanding action against ISIS militants.
The important thing for President Obama is to neutralize a growing terror threat. "And rooting out a cancer like ISIS won't be easy and it won't be quick," he said Tuesday.
Congressman Phil Roe agrees that the brutality needs to stop. "It's a humanitarian disaster. There has been literally hundreds of thousands of people murdered," he says.
U.S. air strikes are helping to push back ISIS advances in Iraq, but Joseph Fitsanakis, a local intelligence expert from King College, says that's not enough. "American pilots are good, but there's no way you can change the course of a war from 10,000 feet up in the air," he says.
News 5 asked Congressman Roe whether deployment was an option. He says it's not likely. "I don't think we'll have troops on the ground. I don't think so, unless American interests are at risk. If you have our citizens at risk, then yes," he says.
Fitsanakis says ISIS wants Americans out of the region, and Americans overall aren't willing to reengage in the Middle East since entering in 2003. "The local people don't trust you anymore because of what happened, and two, people in America don't trust you."
He added that there are 20,000 armed and trained militia members in Iraq alone, and that sending troops to engage in Iraq could be dangerous. "If there's going to be boots on the ground, this is going to be bloody," he says.
President Obama stressed Tuesday at the American Legion Convention in North Carolina that American combat troops will not be returning to Iraq.