US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CLEARS BILL TO ARM SYRIAN REBELS
The US House of Representatives has approved a bill put forward by President Barack Obama to train and equip Syrian rebels to combat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants. Passed by 273 to 156 votes, the bill was included as an amendment to a stop-gap federal spending measure that also easily passed the House. The measure does not include any money to pay for the arms and training of the moderate Syrian rebels, and also failed to provide details about the training plan. House Speaker John Boehner said: “By authorising the Department of Defense to help train and equip the Syrian opposition, this measure represents an important, initial step forward in taking on the ISIL.