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Ted Cruz not ruling out US ground forces against Islamic State

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told CNN he wants to use Kurdish ground forces combined with US-led air strikes, to fight the Islamic State. But the use of US ground forces, he said, is not out of the question.

Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (L) questions Ashton Carter (not pictured), U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee to be secretary of defense, during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 4, 2015. Also pictured at right is Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential presidential candidate is 2016, isn't ruling out sending American ground troops to fight Islamic State militants.

The Texas Republican tells ABC's "This Week" that "if need be, we should go that step. But it should be driven by the mission."

Cruz says Iraqi Kurds have a good fighting force but need to receive arms more effectively from the United States, rather than through the central government in Baghdad.

Cruz, who was attending an international security conference in Munich, wants to use Kurdish fighters — known as the peshmerga — as the ground forces in combination with U.S.-led airstrikes. He says those fighters are effective and ready.

"We need to arm the Kurds now because they are our boots on the ground," he told CNN's "State of the Union."

[Editor's note: The original story summary incorrectly identified Ted Cruz. He's a senator from Texas]

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