Washington, D.C. – On Capitol Hill today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) hosted ambassadors from Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for a discussion on the direct threat ISIS poses to the United States and our partners in the Middle East.

The Chairman opened the meeting by stressing the need for the United States and coalition partners to step up efforts to defeat and destroy ISIS.  This includes getting desperately needed weapons to Kurdish and Yazidi forces on the front lines of the fight.  ISIS terrorists are waging war on anyone who disagrees with its violent, apocalyptic worldview, and they cannot be allowed to continue planning and executing attacks from their sanctuary in Syria.

The Chairman also underscored the importance of countering ISIS’s efforts to recruit and radicalize youth.  More than 30,000 foreign fighter recruits have poured into Syria since the birth of ISIS – including thousands of European citizens and hundreds of U.S. citizens.  More must be done to stem the flow of foreign fighters, and combat ISIS’s use of social media to recruit and spread terror.

Chairman Royce also addressed the Syrian refugee crisis, and the need for action to address the root causes of the violence and conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians from their homes.  The Chairman voiced strong opposition to the Russia-Iran joint offensive that is shoring up the murderous Assad regime in Syria, and – in light of the recent incident involving a Russian warplane in Turkish airspace – Chairman Royce made clear that Turkey has every right to defend its sovereign territory.  Russia must stop the games, and start playing a productive role in the fight against ISIS.

Following the meeting, Chairman Royce issued the following statement:

“A year ago, ISIS held one-third of Syria, and now it occupies half of Syria’s territory.  Obviously much more must be done to eliminate this ISIS safe haven that is now being used to plan and carry out attacks against the United States and our allies.

“I appreciate our partners in the Middle East joining in today’s discussion on the scourge of ISIS, and efforts to defeat our common enemy.  Meanwhile, I will continue to press the Obama administration to outline the comprehensive plan needed to defeat and destroy these brutal terrorists.”