Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda
(Source: USA Today) -A Syrian rebel group’s April pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well. – Read More – USA Today
Senate votes to approve Obama’s plan to fight Islamist militants
(Source: Washington Post) – President Obama’s plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels exposed a deep rift Thursday among Democrats over waging war, with a large bloc of liberals staunchly opposed to the modest mission, fearing another long-term engagement in Iraq.
While the Senate sent the measure Thursday to the White House for Obama’s signature, votes this week demonstrated the tenuous support he has from his own party in carrying out the mission to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State forces. Several of the party’s rising stars, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, rejected the proposal, while in the House, Obama’s proposal won approval only because a vast majority of Republicans backed him. – Read More – Washington Post