Meanwhile, British Prisoner Makes Plea To West; Arrests Made In Australian Plot

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The U.S. Senate passed a vote Thursday evening to arm Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group, 73-22.

The bill will now head to President Obama to be signed.

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Earlier in the day, video surfaced of a British journalist and ISIS hostage making a plea for the West to back down from its fight against the group. Meanwhile, police in Australia thwarted a plot to carry out beheadings in Australia by ISIS sympathizers.

Dozens of homes were searched in Australia, and 15 people were arrested after intelligence services learned of the plot there, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

Among the allegations, the group was preparing to commit “serious violence on a random member of the public here on the streets of New South Wales,” said Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin.

The bust comes as Australia, one of America’s closest allies, sends troops to the Middle East to be on standby for potential action against ISIS, the extremist group of Sunni Muslims who have seized territory from Iraq and Syria.

On Wednesday, a majority of New York’s congressional delegation broke with President Barack Obama by voting against his plan to arm moderate Syrians to fight ISIS.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-Manhattan, said there are too many unanswered questions.

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“Whom will we be arming in Syria?” he said. “Do they share our long-term interests? What are the odds those arms will be turned against us or our allies?”

The House, however, approved the measure 273-156.

On Thursday, ISIS released a video of British hostage John Cantlie, who experts say was clearly under duress as he spoke against Western intervention in the Middle East.

“You’re thinking: ‘He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head.'” Cantlie says in the video.

“After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?” he continues.

The proposal is attached to a bill to fund the federal government for the next three months, so approval was expected.

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