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(CNN) – Asked whether U.S. inaction in Syria paved the way for the Iraq crisis, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee admits the U.S. could have done more.
"Looking back, maybe we could have been aggressive, but that's looking back, and let's learn from that," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland.
"ISIS is just a small part of what's happening in Syria," he said, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militant group that has taken vast swaths of northern Iraq from government hands.
Critics charge that the Iraq crisis is blow back for the U.S. not taking initiative in Syria, and not supporting the moderates, thus allowing ISIS to thrive.