The US Senate has voted in favour of President Barack Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State or ISIL.
But the proposals didn’t give details of the weapons to be deployed to the war-torn country or mention the $500 million that the White House has committed to the mission.
In a speech following the vote, Obama warned that ISIL’s threats would only make America and its allies stronger.
“As Americans, we do not give in to fear; and when you harm our citizens, when you threaten the United States, when you threaten our allies – it doesn’t divide us, it unites us,” he said.
But Obama said that the US military would have a narrow mission.
“The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission; their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground.”
US strikes on ISIL targets in Iraq continue. They’ll soon be joined by French jets following Paris’ commitment to provide air support for Iraqi forces but they won’t go to Syria.
Islamic State now controls large areas of both countries although Peshmurga fighters from Iraq’s Kurdish region continue their fightback.
They claim to have forced ISIL militants to withdraw from several villages north of Mosul in the last day or two.