WASHINGTON, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The US Congress' failure to authorize further use of American military force against the IS insurgent group would be destructive for the international coalition, led by Washington, particularly for US Arab allies, Senator Carl Levin said at a Wednesday US Institute of Peace discussion on the Middle East.
"Yes, Congress should vote to support the President in his effort, because it would be destructive to our drive to unite the world against ISIS [IS] if Congress and the President appear disunited," Carl Levin, Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said.
"We should vote, because President Obama has organized a broad coalition that that includes, most critically, Arab and Muslim nations, who are public and open participants," he added.
Under the War Powers Resolution, a US President has a right to authorize military operations in foreign countries only for 60 days without congressional approval.
The American strategy in the fight against the IS in Iraq and Syria has hinged on the participation of regional governments and military forces. According to Levin, the success of the operations against the jihadists will depend on the degree to which it is seen as an internal matter, and not "perceived as principally a Western fight."
"If the fight against ISIS [IS] is to succeed, it must be visibly an Iraqi and Syrian fight, an era of the Muslim fight against an internal cancer," Levin said.
Boots on the ground are needed, he continued, "but they need to be Iraqi and Syrian boots."
Nevertheless, the senator stated that even without a formal authorization from the Congress, the President could still conduct foreign military operations, just as American leaders did during 25 years of overseas interventions in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Libya.
"The United States should continue in this effort with or without the vote on a resolution to authorize it," the Senator concluded.
The IS jihadist group, known for its hardline Islamic fundamentalism, has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In 2014, it seized vast areas across Iraq and Syria and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on the territories that have fallen under its control, forcing thousands members of religious minorities to flee. More than 30,000 militants are believed to be fighting for the IS.
A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq. US President Barack Obama's anti-IS strategy also includes bolstering a ground force of Kurds, Iraqis and "moderate" elements of Syria's opposition.
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