JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sen. Bill Nelson said the United States has to act now to stop Islamic militant forces in Syria.
The Democrat told Action News the U.S. continues to gather intelligence on ISIS in Syria but he says America needs to do more.
The president has already ordered intelligence gathering flights over Syria, Nelson said, but now he was wants to see military take action with air strikes to avoid putting American boots on the ground.
ISIS militants say they will stop at nothing to defeat the United States, even showing their brutality by videotaping the gruesome beheading of two American journalists, including one from Florida.
In his Jacksonville office Wednesday, Nelson spoke firmly on America’s right to attack this group.
“I believe the president has the constitutional authority to go ahead and attack them,” Nelson said.
This is why Nelson has drafted legislation that would allow the president to conduct airstrikes in Syria in the hopes of paralyzing the terrorists’ group’s operations.
“I am filing legislation that would give the president clear authority for a limited period of 3 years to go in and attack,” Nelson said.
Nelson said the U.S. could partner with the free Syrian army or other coalition groups to avoid putting boots on the ground.
But he said the threat is real and he doesn’t discount it spilling over in our territory. Right now, Nelson said there are about 100 Americans and more than a thousand Europeans getting trained by ISIS in Syria.
“These guys intent is to comeback into Western Europe and to the U.S. and to do damage here and that's why we need to take the fight to them,” Nelson said.
Nelson said so far, the U.S. has been very successful in using air strikes to hold back ISIS in northern Iraq. He said America now has to focus on attacking them at their base in Syria.