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Iran Press TV

Obama weighs hitting ISIL, Congress demands approval

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:50PM GMT

Calls are growing on Capitol Hill for US President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval before he expands the military air campaign against ISIL targets from Iraq into neighboring Syria.

The United States has already launched at least 100 airstrikes on ISIL positions in northern Iraq since Obama authorized the use of force against the terrorist group earlier this month.

The White House insists it does not need explicit congressional authorization for those operations because they are intended to protect American personnel and interests inside the Arab country.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that Obama “will not hesitate to use his authority” to keep Americans safe but added that the president was “committed to coordinating and consulting with Congress” on a decision to hit ISIL targets in Syria.

Some members of Congress say the president does not have authorization as Article I of the Constitution gives only Congress the power to declare war.

"Congress should vote up or down on it,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said.

“Congress does not have the political will to approve a War Powers Resolution when the American people have very little appetite for war,” said Ron Bonjean, a former senior Republican congressional aide, according to Time magazine.

On Tuesday, the United States began surveillance flights, conducted by manned and unmanned aircraft, over Syria which could pave the way for expanded military action against ISIL terrorists there.

It is not clear whether the Obama administration plans any military action in Syria before Congress returns from recess on September 8.

President Obama will discuss the threat of the ISIL terrorist group with NATO leaders during a meeting next week in Wales, the White House said Wednesday.


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