US Congressional committee allows use of force against ISIS

A key US Congressional committee has passed a bill authorising use of military force against the dreaded Islamist State militant group that has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014, 12:02 PM IST

Washington: A key US Congressional committee has passed a bill authorising use of military force against the dreaded Islamist State militant group that has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

The Authorisation for Use of Military Force (AUMF) bill allows the President to use military force against ISIS for up to three years.

"But (it) limits the activities of US Armed Forces from participating in ground combat operations except in defined circumstances," said Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

AUMF passed by a vote of 10 to 8. This AUMF would also require a report on the comprehensive strategy for this campaign after 60 days and sunset the 2001 al Qaeda AUMF after a period of three years enactment, unless it is reauthorised, he said.

Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before the Committee urging Senators to approve force authorisation.

"We stand resolved to defeat ISIS," he said.

The State Department said it continues to believe the Menendez draft AUMF text provides a reasonable basis for continued discussions.

"As Secretary Kerry indicated at this week's hearing, the Administration would like to continue to work with members to further refine the language, including how the authorization defines associated forces, the manner in which the sunset of the new authority is handled at the end of three years, and how it addresses ground combat force limitations," an official statement said.