U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner
IN PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington September 27, 2014. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The United States Congress is waiting for President Barack Obama to ask for a formal authorisation to use military force in the ongoing war against the terror group ISIS. A top Republican senator revealed the White House might request for an authorisation soon.

According to Reuters, Senator Bob Corker, who also serves as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he has been talking to Obama administration officials, and they appeared to be optimistic about the formal authorisation. He told reporters the White House needed to let Congress know the type of authorisation it wants. The Obama administration has argued the U.S.-led airstrikes campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is "legal" since it is based on a previous authorisation passed under former President George W. Bush for the war against Al Qaeda in Iraq.

However, several members of Congress have expressed more interest in debating and passing a new authorisation to fight ISIS militants who killed thousands in mass executions and beheaded foreign journalists. Mr Obama had previously announced in November that he would seek new authorisation from lawmakers so the world will know that the government is united in the effort against ISIS.

Washington Times reported that Congress had passed a resolution to train and arm Syrian rebels to help fight ISIS militants on the ground for two years. Top U.S. officials involved in the campaign against ISIS in the Middle East have predicted the war to last for more than a year.

Meanwhile, the repeated airstrikes targeting ISIS may have indirectly caused the recent shooting of 12 people after three gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. The men armed with AK47 assault rifles shot journalists, cartoonists and two police officers, French media reported.

Reuters said ISIS militants had called for attacks on France and its citizens in 2014 in retaliation for the French military's participation in targeting ISIS-held territories in Iraq and Syria. ISIS had issued a statement following the attack and praised the gunmen as "lions of Islam." The group also warned of more attacks against the "infidels."

France is expected to deploy its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the Arabian Gulf to support the coalition force attacks against ISIS, DefenseNews reported. When the U.S. called for the formation of a coalition, France was the first European nation to support the U.S.-led airstrikes.

Contact email: r.su@ibtimes.com.au