Obama seeks to expand US military force against ISIS, says report

The United States is leading an international coalition against the extremist terror group and an air campaign against IS fighters in Iraq and Syria began in August.

By REUTERS
February 6, 2015 02:30
1 minute read.
islamic state

A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video that Islamic State fighters released in September 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will ask Congress for new authority to use force against Islamic State fighters next week, congressional aides said on Thursday.

A House Democratic aide said lawmakers had been told they would receive the White House request next week.

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An aide to Senator Bob Corker told Reuters the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expected Obama to send text of an authorization as soon as next week.

Earlier on Thursday, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said he expected Obama to seek congressional authorization for using military force against Islamic State soon and also called for speeding up assistance to Jordan.

"I'm expecting that there will be an authorization for the use of military force sent up here in the coming days. And we're going to go through a rigorous set of hearings and continue to discuss it," Boehner, the top House Republican, told reporters.

"It is also going to be incumbent upon the president to go out there and make the case to the American people," as well as help push Congress to pass the authorization, he added.

Congressional aides said lawmakers had been told they would receive the White House request next week.



Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, told reporters that lawmakers had been talking to the White House about an authorization that would last three years. She said there had not yet been decisions about the geographic scope of an authorization or what limits would be placed on combat troops - "boots on the ground" - for the fight against Islamic State militants.

The United States is leading an international coalition against Islamic State, and Obama launched an air campaign in August against IS fighters in Iraq and Syria.

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