By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R from Mobile) said in a statement that he supports President Barack H. Obama’s (D) decision to ask for new authorization from Congress to fight the growing menace of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Representative Byrne said on Facebook, “I believe President Obama is right to ask Congress to pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The current AUMFs the President is operating under are out of date and frankly not applicable to this conflict. The debate on a new AUMF will allow Congress to take a closer look at the strategies and end game of this conflict.”
President Obama announced on Wednesday that he will ask Congress for new war power authorities to fight ISIL.
President Obama said, “I will begin engaging Congress over a new authorization for military force against ISIL,” Obama said in a White House press briefing, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. In the Constitution only the Congress can declare war; but Presidents literally since Washington have been interpreting their powers in such a way as to give them enormous leeway in how they utilize our military. The administration has justified the military actions in Iraq and Syria on the grounds that they are authorized under the AUMF’s to fight the war on terror and to invade Iraq in 2001 and 2002.
President Obama just on Thursday announced that they were increasing the number of U.S. service members in Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Pentagon’s military operation against the Islamic State group to over 3,000.
The United States has been using limited air strikes against ISIL (also referred to frequently as ISIS) for weeks. In June the Islamo-fascist group, which had carved out vast territories for itself in the Syria in the ongoing Civil War there, burst across the Iraq border crushing the poorly led forces of the Iraqi Army, seized Mosul and threatened both Kurdish territory and Baghdad. Stepped up aid to both the Kurds and the Iraqi military as well as U.S. air strikes have failed to dislodge the ISIL fighters, many of whom have come from across the world, including the U.S., to fight in the jihad.
CNN is reporting that Iraq’s minister of defense, Khaled al-Obeidi, said on Facebook that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was wounded in airstrikes in Mosul on Friday night and that his deputy, Musallam al-Turkmani, was killed.
Reportedly a convoy of ISIL VIPs were targeted outside of the Iraqi town of al-Qaim. Some reports are that al-Baghdadi has been killed.
Adding to the mystery about al-Baghdadi’s condition is a tweet from an account purportedly associated with ISIS supporters.
CNN is reporting that a Twitter account reportedly belonging to ISIL denies that al-Baghdadi is dead. The group wrote, “We assure the nation that its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in good condition. Pray for his speedy recovery.”
Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.