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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Senators Approve Use of Force Abroad

The Federation Council on Friday unanimously authorized President Vladimir Putin to dispatch armed forces or security agents abroad to stop terrorists.

The move to provide a legal stamp of approval for overseas operations came after Putin ordered special forces to hunt down and destroy those who killed four Russian hostages in Iraq last month. An al-Qaida-linked group has taken responsibility.

The Kremlin has not specifed which forces would take the lead in tracking down the al-Qaida group. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Thursday that a Defense Ministry special unit has been assigned the task. He did not give further details, but could have been referring to agents from the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, known as GRU. Earlier, Federal Security Service director Nikolai Patrushev said his agency would be involved.