tirsdag 13. desember 2016

US Congress pass bill for MANPADs to Syrian rebels

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US Congress opens way for missiles to Syrian rebels

Bill requires Defense, State departments’ request as a condition for anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian opposition
08.12.2016
By Kasim Ileri
WASHINGTON
The Senate on Thursday passed a defense policy bill that allows for the supply of portable surface to air missiles to Syrian rebels upon approval by the heads of the Defense and State departments.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes $618.7 billion in the military spending for the 2017 fiscal year, passed at the chamber in a 92-7 vote, an overwhelming majority that overrides President Barack Obama’s veto power.

The bill includes $67.8 billion in an overseas contingency operations account to fund operations abroad.

The original text sponsored by Republican John McCain prohibited the supply of Man Portable Air Defense Systems, or MANPADs, to the Syrian opposition.

But the Conference Committee that prepares the final version of bills amended the provision.

“If a determination is made during fiscal year 2017 to use funds available to the Department of Defense for that fiscal year to provide man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs) to the vetted Syrian opposition … such funds may not be used for that purpose until (1) the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the determination,” the final version of the bill reads.

That final version also passed the House of Representatives last week by a 375-34 vote.
Following the Senate vote, the legislation was sent to Obama to be signed into law.