Obama Preparing Military Options in Syria Against ISIS

Image: Obama Preparing Military Options in Syria Against ISIS President Barack Obama with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, and Gen. Martin Dempsey. (Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, 25 Aug 2014 09:26 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The United States is preparing military options, including surveillance flights, to pressure Islamic State in Syria, U.S. officials said on Monday, but they cautioned no decision had been made to expand U.S. action beyond the limited airstrikes under way in Iraq.

President Barack Obama has so far sought a limited military campaign in Iraq focused on protecting American diplomats and civilians under direct threat. Still, officials have not ruled out escalating military action against the Islamic State militant group, which has increased its overt threats against the United States.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that Islamic State would eventually need to be addressed on "both sides of what is essentially at this point a non-existent border" between Syria and Iraq.

Dempsey's spokesman confirmed on Monday that options against Islamic State were under review and stressed the need to form "a coalition of capable regional and European partners."

"With Central Command, (Dempsey) is preparing options to address ISIS both in Iraq and Syria with a variety of military tools including airstrikes," Colonel Ed Thomas said, using a different name for the Sunni Muslim group that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

"The bottom line is that our forces are well postured to partner with regional allies against ISIS."

A U.S. official said Washington was also preparing to launch intelligence and surveillance flights, including drones, over Syria.

Two other U.S. officials also acknowledged the preparation of strike options against Islamic State in Syria, with one saying planning had been under way for weeks.

 

'NOT THERE YET'

Still, neither official suggested U.S. military action there was imminent.

"We're just not there yet," said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of the anonymity.

Republicans called on Sunday for more aggressive U.S. action to defeat Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, accusing President Barack Obama of policies that have failed to thwart potential new threats on U.S. soil.

At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama would consult Congress on whatever he decided on Syria, but would not necessarily seek congressional approval. He said Obama had not made any decisions on whether to use airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

Earnest said the Islamic State threat was a different situation from a year ago when Obama said he wanted Congress to approve the use of airstrikes to stop Syrian President Bashir al-Assad from using chemical weapons on his own people.

Obama sat down for talks on Monday with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Dempsey, Thomas said, believed that Islamic State needed to be pressured in Iraq and Syria and that defeating the group would require a sustained effort over an extended period of time "and much more than military action."

Although the U.S. air campaign launched this month has caused some setbacks for Islamic State, they do not address the deeper problem of sectarian warfare that the group has fueled with its attacks on Shi'ites.

In retaliation for the airstrikes, Islamic State released a video showing one of its black-clad fighters beheading U.S. journalist James Foley.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

McCain Chides Rand Paul: 'Has He Ever Been to Syria?'

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 23:02 PM

Sen. John McCain, a longtime proponent of arming the Free Syrian Army, is blasting fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul for  . . .

House GOP Moves Ahead on Syrian Rebel Training

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 22:19 PM

Lawmakers raced Monday to authorize an expanded mission to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels before heading back to t . . .

US Will Retaliate if Syria Interferes With Airstrikes on ISIS

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 21:10 PM

The Syrian military's air defenses would face retaliation if Syria attempted to respond to U.S. airstrikes that are expe . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved