US lawmakers back plan to arm Syrian rebels

2014-09-17 22:51:07 | Al Muslim News
US lawmakers back plan to arm Syrian rebels

 

US lawmakers have voted to authorise training and arming of vetted Syrian rebels to combat fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a crucial step in President Barack Obama's bid to thwart the self-declared jihadist group surging across Iraq and Syria. The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 273 to 156 to approve Obama's train-and-equip plan despite misgivings by both Democrats and Republicans. Some war-weary Democrats say the move could open the door to full-blown American military intervention in the Middle East.Conservative members are concerned that the plan falls short of what is needed to defeat the ISIL. The measure is attached to a stop-gap spending bill also expected to pass the House on Wednesday. The legislation must be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to Obama to sign into law. Obama has pressed Congress to provide him political cover to initiate military action in Syria against the ISIL group, although the White House and many lawmakers believe he has the constitutional authority to launch air strikes in Syria, as he has done in Iraq, to protect US national security interests. House Speaker John Boehner hailed the vote as "an important, initial step forward in taking on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant". The measure was crafted by House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon, who was among many Republicans who feel Obama's plan does not do enough to meet the goal. 'Cost of doing nothing' But with Democrats largely split on the issue, the party's House number two Steny Hoyer took to the floor to rally Congress to back the commander-in-chief in a time of crisis. "We are united in our resolve to meet this threat. We clearly may have differences on this House floor, but we are Americans when it comes to defending our people, and our country," Hoyer said. "We know empirically the cost of doing nothing is far too great." With the amendment attached to the temporary spending bill that expires December 11, lawmakers are gearing up for a broader debate - after congressional midterm elections November 4 - on whether to approve a new authorisation for the use of military force to give Obama powers to prosecute a wider war against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria. McKeon's amendment puts important checks on Obama's power, including a prohibition against sending US combat troops to Syria and requirements that the administration keep Congress in the loop with regular reporting about the mission..

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

South Korea Moon seeks to normalize ties with China in first state visit

South Korean President Moon Jae-In hopes to “normalise” ties with giant neighbour China on his first state visit to the country this week,... More

Netanyahu says recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital makes peace possible

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that recognising Jerusalem as his country's capital "makes peace possible", aft... More

Terror bomber strikes New York subway three hurt

A man detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York subway passageway during the morning rush hour on Monday, injuring three people... More

2018 may bring on nastier hack attacks says McAfee report

After a year marked by devastating cyber attacks and breaches, online attackers are expected to become even more destructive in 2018, security researc... More

Syrian govt agrees to join peace talks with conditions

GENEVA: Talks aimed at ending the war in Syria restarted on Tuesday with the government enforcing its will, warning the United Nations it would not to... More

Bali Volcano Ash Drifts 4.7 Miles High Airport Shut 3rd Day

 KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AP) An erupting volcano with a deadly history on Indonesia's Bali, one of the world's most popular resort islands... More

U.S. general sees no change in Pakistan behaviour despite Trump tough line

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. general in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that he had not seen a change in Pakistan’s support for militan... More

Trump Democrats spar as US government shutdown looms

US President Donald Trump clashed with Democratic leaders in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, heaping pressure on Congress to craft a compromise on federa... More

Pope in Myanmar preaches forgiveness to a nation accused of ethnic cleansing

Pope Francis spread a message of forgiveness in a historic open-air mass before a sea of worshippers in Yangon on Wednesday, during a visit to conflic... More

Indonesia Niqab Squad takes aim at face veil prejudice

Riding a horse or nailing an archery target is tough at the best of times it's even harder when you're wearing a niqab. But that isn't ... More

87