And Obama is doing nothing about it…..
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday said Russian leader Vladimir Putin is flaunting his utter disregard for President Obama.
“The president of Russia has told the president of the United States to go to hell,” Graham said, according to BuzzFeed.
“They’re making a very smart play,” he said of Russia’s increasing role in Syria. “At the end of the day, they sized up and said, ‘If we use ground forces … America will do nothing about it.’ ”
Russia announced last week that it was beginning air strikes in Syria in conjunction with government forces there.
Putin has long supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against both rebel forces and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Graham argued Moscow’s intervention in the Middle East is quickly changing the global landscape.
“It means that Assad will stay in power and the Arabs are going to have to look at Russia anew,” he said. “They’re going to look at Iran anew.”
“The vacuum [Obama] has created has helped ISIL, Iran and Russia,” Graham said, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.
“What Obama is doing is giving Russia and Iran more influence in the Middle East anytime since the mid-70s.”
Graham also charged that Putin is amassing power over the region by utilizing a strategy Obama has repeatedly ignored.
“Putin is doing what I would have suggested,” he said. “He’s forming a regional force of Syrians, Hezbollah, Iranians and now Russian ground forces, with Russian air power, and they’re going to go after the people that threaten Assad.”
Graham added that Obama could keep America’s presence in the Middle East relevant by employing a similar strategy.
“[He] could form a regional force, go in on the ground and go after ISIL with a regional approach that will put pressure on Assad to leave,” he said. “[He could] come up with a strategy that works [and] stop being walked all over on.”
Graham has made his experience on foreign policy a key selling point of his Oval Office bid.
He remains a longshot candidate and has less that 1 percent voter support, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.