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Obama wants $165 million for Syrian rebels

The US president’s $5.6 billion emergency war-fighting request includes a plan to shore up the Syrian opposition.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a meeting with more than 20 foreign defense chiefs to discuss the coalition efforts in the ongoing campaign against ISIL at Joint Base Andrews in Washington October 14, 2014.  Some three weeks before U.S. congressional elections viewed largely as a referendum on Obama's leadership, the president will aim to show the U.S. public and allies abroad that he is committed to a plan to "degrade" and "destroy" the group that has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria.


President Barack Obama is asking Congress for an extra $165 million to boost the Syrian opposition as part of his $5.6 billion request to fight the Islamic State (IS), a tacit acknowledgment that the group can’t be defeated in Iraq alone.

The request is included in a 34-page letter from the Office of Management and Budget that was sent to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Nov. 10. Congress returns from its election day recess on Nov. 12 and administration officials are urging a quick vote so they can start deploying an extra 1,500 troops to help the Iraqi army battle IS.

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