BEIRUT - Syria's main Western-backed opposition group has welcomed President Barack Obama's authorization of U.S. airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group inside Syria for the first time. In a statement Thursday, the Syrian National Coalition urged the U.S. Congress to quickly approve a program to train and arm Syrian rebels who are fighting both the Islamic extremists and Syrian President Bashar Assad. The coalition says it stands "ready and willing" to partner with the international community to defeat both.
In a prime-time address to the nation from the White House, Obama announced he was authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of "a steady, relentless effort" to root out Islamic State extremists and their spreading reign of terror.
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