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Exclusive: US lawmaker pushes White House to aid allies in Islamic State fight

A senior Republican lawmaker warned President Barack Obama she would do "everything within my power," including holding up money, to push the United States to provide fighter jets and weapons to Egypt and other allies fighting Islamic State militants.



Washington: A senior Republican lawmaker warned President Barack Obama she would do "everything within my power," including holding up money, to push the United States to provide fighter jets and weapons to Egypt and other allies fighting Islamic State militants.

In a letter to the president, Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations subcommittee, said Egypt needs F-16 aircraft and M1A1 Abrams tanks held up since 2013.

She also urged the administration to make providing weapons to Jordan a priority and to giving Iraqi Kurds "the tools and training" to fight against the militant group, according to the letter, obtained by Reuters on Friday.

The letter, dated Thursday, criticized the administration`s policy as Congress is to begin considering Obama`s request for formal authority for a military campaign against Islamic State. The group`s militants have killed thousands of civilians while seizing territory in Iraq and Syria.

"As Egypt, Jordan, and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL`s heinous acts, US security assistance it being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your administration," Granger wrote, using an acronym for Islamic State.

The US State Department referred requests for comment to the White House, where officials did not immediately respond.

Granger said she was calling on the White House to "immediately release" remaining weapons and funds to Egypt, provide Jordan weapons it had requested and to ensure the Kurdish Peshmerga have equipment they need.

As chairwoman of the House subcommittee, Granger has the power to place holds on administration funding plans that fall within her subcommittee’s jurisdiction.

In 2012, she blocked $450 million the Obama administration wanted to send Egypt to help its new government rebuild its economy, concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood leaders then holding power in Cairo.

From Zee News

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