Senate approves Obama plan to train Syrian rebels

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. In a major reversal, Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)
President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. In a major reversal, Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a plan for the military to train and equip Syrian rebels, clearing the measure for President Barack Obama’s signature.

The vote late Thursday was 73-22 for broader legislation that also provides money to keep the government operating after the end of the budget year on Sept. 30.

The measure was one of the last on the shortened congressional agenda ahead of November’s midterm elections.

The Senate vote crossed party lines.

Some Republicans backed a major plank in the Democratic president’s strategy to defeat Islamic State militants. Several Democrats broke with Obama amid fears of U.S. ground forces being dragged back to Iraq for a Middle East conflict.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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