Tuesday, February 3, 2015

US asks for $8.8 billion to fund fight against IS

US asks for $8.8 billion to fund fight against IS: US President Barack Obama has requested $8.8 billion to fund the fight against the Islamic State group in his 2016 budget unveiled Monday.

A total of $5.3 billion would go to the Pentagon to finance Operation Inherent Resolve, which was launched in August with a series of airstrikes against militants in Iraq and Syria.

Last week, defense officials told AFP that US and coalition aircraft had carried out 705 bombing raids around the Syrian town of Kobane since September 23 after it was captured by jihadists.

The State Department, which has been leading efforts to build a multinational coalition against the IS group, has requested a further $3.5 billion.

The money would "strengthen regional partners... provide humanitarian assistance and strengthen Syria's moderate opposition," Deputy Secretary of State for Management Heather Higginbottom said.