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Published On: Thu, Sep 18th, 2014

House votes to train and arm Syrian rebels to fight ISIS

US lawmakers voted Wednesday to authorize training and arming of Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants as President Obama reaffirmed America’s plans.

The House of Representatives voted 273 to 156 to approve Obama´s train-and-equip plan, which includes an amendment to a stop-gap federal spending measure. The overall bill now shifts to the Senate, where leaders are confident it will pass Thursday and head to the president for his signature.

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The President and his chief congressional rival, House Speaker John Boehner, both hailed the vote as an important initial step forward in taking on IS, with Obama calling on the Senate to greenlight the measure as part of his “comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

“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,” Steny Hoyer told colleagues in the House.

With the amendment attached to a 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 authorization for the use of military force to give Obama powers to prosecute a wider war against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

House Republican Kevin McCarthy said he was “not convinced” that it would change the balance of power on the ground, and suggested wider military action was necessary.

Some Democrats warned that the move marked a slippery slope that would lead to US boots on the ground.

Secretary of State John Kerry, back from a week of international coalition-building in the region, echoed Obama in insisting today´s case was different.

“This is not the Gulf War in 1991. It is not the Iraq war in 2003,” Kerry argued before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a panel he used to chair as a senator.

Current chairman Senator Robert Menendez warned Kerry that Congress may scrap the open-ended authorization to use military force approved in 2001, under which the White House says it can conduct present-day action.

Menendez said reliance on the 2001 authorization was tied to a “thin theory that that ISIL is associated with Al-Qaeda.” (AFP)

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Vladimir Putin says Obama administration’s silence on Syrian fight is ‘unconstructive’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Sept 2014: US votes to arm and train rebels […]

  2. US ends Syrian rebel training, the ‘failure’ should be a wake up call for Congress says Barbara Lee - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] supplies falling “into the enemy’s hands” and used against the US campaign. The House vote a year ago was a bipartisan move, supported by both parties and the White House. The US has been […]

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