Obama aproves both manned and unmanned surveillance over Syria
WASHINGTON – President Obama has authorized drone surveillance flights over Syria even as Syria demanded the U.S. government seek permission before launching any airstrikes on its territory against ISIS targets. The main concern the Obama administration is facing, is how to target the Sunni extremists without aiding Syrian President Assad.
The U.S. Department of Defense announced that the Pentagon is sending in manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights over Syria; both drones and U2 spy planes will be used. President Obama authorized the flights over the weekend. The order was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the Wall Street Journal; “The Pentagon is preparing to conduct reconnaissance flights over Syria,” “There is no decision yet to do strikes, but in order to help make that decision, you want to get as much situational awareness as possible.” These flights are a huge step towards direct military action in Syria, which could change the course of Syria’s civil war.
The Pentagon is discussing military options that would strike the heart of ISIS near the “erased” border between Syria and Iraq, as opposed to being behind enemy lines. Syria offered its hand in fighting the ISIS extremists, however the Assad government demanded the White House coordinate airstrikes with them or they would consider them an “act of aggression.” Questions of whether Obama should authorize airstrikes has increased since the beheading of American journalist James Foley.
This latest move against ISIS comes days after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem warned the U.S. government against unilateral action to counter ISIS in Syria following the group’s takeover of a critical airbase in Syria’s Raqqah province.
Syria is ready to cooperate and coordinate on the regional and international level in the war on terror,” he said, according to the AP. “But any effort to combat terrorism should be coordinated with the Syrian government.”
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