US President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday (11 February) that he had sent a draft resolution to Congress to authorise use of force against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

"This resolution reflects our core objective to destroy Isil. It supports the comprehensive strategy that we've been pursuing with our allies and our partners. A systemic and sustained campaign of airstrikes against Isil in Iraq and Syria, support and training for local forces on the ground, including the moderate Syrian opposition, preventing Isil attacks in the region and beyond, including by foreign terrorist fighters who try to threaten our countries; regional and international support for an inclusive Iraqi government that unites the Iraqi people and strengthens Iraqi forces against Isil; humanitarian assistance for the innocent civilians of Iraq and Syria who are suffering so terribly under Isil's reign of horror," Obama said.

He went on to say that the authorization would bar any large-scale invasion by US ground troops, but could authorize certain strikes involving US special forces.

"As I've said before, I'm convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East," Obama said.

He said that any use of military force would be limited to three years to give his successor the opportunity to re-evaluate the situation with Congress.