MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution authorizing $500 million to go to training and equipping moderate Syrian rebels to fight against Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.
The resolution passed Wednesday in a vote of 273-156. The measure was added by the Obama administration last week as an amendment to the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through December 11.
The vote followed approximately five hours of debate on the House floor. It marked the first opportunity for members of Congress to support or reject President Obama's strategy to degrade and defeat IS, announced last Thursday.
While the vote shows a majority of congressional support for Obama's program, some members of both parties warned that the funding authorization for Syrian rebels was not a replacement for a full debate on the broader use of military force against IS.
The Senate will vote on the Continuing Resolution Thursday, and it is likely to pass.
The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012, expanding its attacks to northern and western regions of Iraq in June 2014. The militants have seized vast areas in both countries and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on all the territories under their control.