U.S. Congress approves arming Syrian rebels, funding government

Free Syrian Army fighters carry a rocket before firing it towards Hama military airport that is controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President Assad, in the Hama countrysideBy Patricia Zengerle and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress gave final approval on Thursday to President Barack Obama’s plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State, a major part of his military campaign to “degrade and destroy” the militant group. The Senate voted 78-22, in a rare bipartisan show of support for one of Obama’s high-profile initiatives. With the House of Representatives approving the legislation on Wednesday, the measure now goes to Obama to sign into law. Ten Senate Democrats and 12 Republicans voted no. …

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