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Vermont’s senators vote against Obama on rebel aid

September 19, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont’s two senators have voted against a bill that allows the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic State militants.

The Senate voted 78-22 on Thursday to approve the measure proposed by President Barack Obama.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Vermont independent, conceded the threat posed by forces seeking an Islamic State. But he said countries in the Middle East most threatened had not yet joined the international coalition that Obama is assembling.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, said as much as he believes the United States should support the fight against the militants, he’s not convinced that Obama’s plan in Syria can succeed. He said there are too many unanswered questions about the Syrian rebels and too little clarity about the White House’s intentions.