The House of Representatives on Friday passed a defense authorization act bill that would directly arm Kurds and Sunni tribes in Iraq, deeming the groups "a country.", SIA informs citing the AA.
The bill passed by a 269-151 vote and outlines the U.S. military and national security strategy for 2016 that includes approval of President Barack Obama’s request for $611.9 billion in "defense discretionary spending".
It also authorizes the administration to fund $715 million in security assistance to Iraqi forces fighting Daesh on the condition that 25 percent of the funds would go directly to peshmerga and Sunni forces and the remaining 75 percent withheld until the secretaries of state and defense can determine if the Iraqi government is fulfilling obligations for political reconciliation.
Peshmerga, Sunni forces and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard would be deemed "a country," allowing those forces to directly receive U.S. aid, in the event the Iraqi government failed to reconcile with the all segments of Iraqi society.
The Obama administration earlier this week threatened to veto the bill, citing several provisions including ones related to directly arming Iraqi Kurds and Sunni tribes.