Tags: Barack Obama | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | obama | isis | senate

Obama: Americans United as Congress OKs Funds to Train Syrian Rebels

By    |   Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:24 PM

President Barack Obama said Thursday's Senate vote to approve funding to train and equip Syrian rebels shows that Americans are united in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).

The president's four-minute address from the White House's State Dining Room came minutes after the Senate voted 73-22 to approve $500 million requested by the White House in May.

The House passed the measure Wednesday on a 273-156 vote.

"With their barbaric murder of two Americans, these terrorists thought they could frighten us, or intimidate us, or cause us to shrink from the world. But today they are learning the same hard lesson of petty tyrants and terrorists who have gone before. As Americans, we do not give in to fear," Obama said.

Obama pointed out that France has agreed to join the United States in airstrikes against ISIS, which has taken over a large portion of eastern Syria and northern Iraq. He also said that Arab countries are part of a 40-plus-nation coalition, though he did not name them.

Previous reports have indicated Saudi Arabia will allow Free Syrian Army troops to train there before returning to battle. That training could take months.

Ground troops from the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces will receive support from the more than 1,000 American troops already on the ground, Obama said.

"The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," he said. "Their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground."

The congressional votes were part of a continuing resolution to keep the government operating through Dec. 11 and received support of a majority from both parties in both houses.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton called the vote "insignificant" since the authorization lasts only as long as the continuing resolution.

"I would have voted in favor of it, but gritting my teeth as I did so," Bolton said on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"I think the president wanted a vote on something so that he could say he'd done something concrete against ISIS," Bolton said. "He probably half felt if the Republicans rejected it and we ended up shutting down the government on the continuing resolution, he could use that politically."

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President Barack Obama said Thursday's Senate vote to approve funding to train and equip Syrian rebels shows that Americans are united in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).
obama, isis, senate, vote, syrian, rebels
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2014-24-18
Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:24 PM
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