US President Barack Obama has formally asked Congress to authorize a three-year war against the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.
The authority Obama sought on Wednesday in the proposed new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to Congress would provide the president political cover at home and a firmer legal basis on which to execute the war against the ISIL Takfiri group “and associated forces."
"This authorization for the use of military force shall terminate three years after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution, unless reauthorized," read the text of the draft resolution.
The proposed document limits Obama from the use of “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”
In a letter to lawmakers accompanying the war request, Obama said granting him war authority "would show the world we are united in our resolve" to defeat ISIL terrorists who are controlling parts of Syria and Iraq.
A US-led military coalition has been carrying out airstrikes on ISIL targets since early August in Iraq. ISIL positions have also been targeted in Syria since late September.
The Obama administration has until now relied on congressional authorizations that former President George W. Bush used to justify military action in Iraq and Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The White House’s failure to seek a formal authorization to use military force against the ISIL Takfiri group has caused some Republican members of Congress to express concern that Obama overstepped his constitutional authority.
Obama said in the letter, “The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses a threat to the people and stability of Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East, and to US national security."
“It threatens American personnel and facilities located in the region and is responsible for the deaths of US citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller. If left unchecked, ISIL will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland,” he added.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, have beheaded three American, two British and two Japanese hostages in recent months. The videos of their beheadings were posted online.
On Tuesday, Obama confirmed the death of female American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller in a coalition airstrike in northern Syria last week.
"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death," he said.
The ISIL terrorist group said in a statement on Friday that Mueller of Prescott, Arizona, whom it was holding near the city of Raqqa was killed when Jordanian fighter jets bombed a building where she was being held.
Last week, an ISIL video surfaced showing the terrorists purportedly torching a captured Jordanian pilot, 26-year-old Moaz al-Kassasbeh, to death. After the incident, Jordan's King Abdullah vowed to wage a "harsh" war against ISIL.
The Takfiris are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.
They have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.