Presidential Candidates Weigh in on Mosul Fight

The presidential candidates weighed in on the ongoing fight to retake Mosul, Iraq, from ISIS extremists, as well as what the next steps should be, during Wednesday’s third and final debate. Hillary Clinton said she is “encouraged” by the Iraqi-led effort, which is being supported by Kurdish forces and Americans on the ground, but said she “will not support putting Americans on the ground [in Iraq] as an occupying force.” Clinton said doing so would be “a big red flag waving” ISIS could use to recruit new members and rebuild its forces. However, she did support instituting a no fly zone over Syria, saying it could “save lives and hasten the end of the conflict.” Donald Trump blamed Clinton for Mosul’s fall to ISIS and questioned the public campaign leading up to the fight. “What ever happened to the element of surprise? These people have all left,” said Trump referring to the Pentagon’s repeated announcements that it’s coming after ISIS’ leaders. “Douglas MacArthur and George Patton have got to be spinning in their graves,” said Trump. He claimed the “big winner” of the battle for Mosul ultimately will be Iran. “Mosul is going to be a wonderful thing and Iran should write us a letter of thank you … because Iran, as I said many years ago, Iran is taking over Iraq. We’re now going to take Mosul, and you know who’s going to be the beneficiary? Iran.”