BREAKING NEWS: US Senate gives Obama authority to arm ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels


Free Syrian Army fighters prepare to fire.(Reuters / Stringer)

The Senate has passed a bill authorizing President Barack Obama to begin arming “moderate” rebels in Syria as part of a plan to step up the US military campaign against Islamic State militants.

The bill, which easily passed Thursday by a vote of 78-22, is headed to Obama’s desk for his signature.


It allocates $500 million not only to the arming and training of Syrian rebels, but also to the expansion of US military action in Iraq.

Included in the bill is also the extension of US government funding until December 11.

Although the bill passed with majority support from both Democrats and Republicans, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed concern over the idea that Obama can now enter the conflict in Syria without Congress updating its previous Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Some lawmakers believe that without such an approval, the use of force against the Islamic State could be unconstitutional.

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