United States is open to the possibility of military actions against Islamist militants in Syria 230
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Defence & Security News - United States
|Saturday, August 23, 2014 08:30 AM|
|United States is open to the possibility of military actions against Islamist militants in Syria.|
The United States is open to the possibility of military action against Islamist militants in Syria, a top Obama Administration official said Friday, August 22, 2014, warning that the U.S. will “do what is necessary to protect Americans.”
Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, fielded questions about events in the Middle East and Ukraine on Friday, August 22, 2014.
The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible American airstrikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilized neighboring Iraq and killed an American journalist.
While President Obama has long resisted being drawn into Syria’s bloody civil war, officials said recent advances by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had made clear that it represents a threat to the interests of the United States and its allies.
Officials said the options include speeding up and intensifying limited American efforts to train and arm moderate Syrian rebel forces that have been fighting both ISIS as well as the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
But American officials said they would also take a look at airstrikes by fighter jets and bombers as well as potentially sending Special Operations forces into Syria, like those who tried to rescue Mr. Foley and other hostages on a mission in July. One possibility officials have discussed for Iraq that could be translated to Syria would be a series of unmanned drone strikes targeting ISIS leaders, much like those conducted in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
American operations against ISIS in Syria would expand the scope and goals of the military intervention Mr. Obama ordered in Iraq two weeks ago. At the time, the president said he authorized airstrikes to defend American personnel and prevent the genocide of religious minorities threatened by ISIS.