After three years of fighting, Syria may be ready for some help
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/25/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Syrian government has stated that it is now ready to accept support from the United States and the United Nations to fight the Islamic State, which government forces have been so far unable to defeat.
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, the U.S. has been opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, usually funding pro-Western rebel groups like the Free Syrian Army.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Moallem made this statement on August 25, after fighters from the Islamic State sized control of a Syrian airbase in the country's north, expelling government power from the region.
However, Moallem, warned against any unilateral action or strikes in Syrian territory without permission.
"Any effort to fight terrorism should be done in coordination with Syrian government," said Moallem.
Rubble of a Syrian town that has been destroyed during the ongoing Syrian civil war.
U.S. military and intelligence agencies are gathering intelligence on the locations of Islamic State leadership and troops in Syria, two U.S. officials reported to CNN. The information can be used in the coming days if President Barack Obama authorizes airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said that in order to conduct operations over Syria "you certainly want to get as much of a view on the ground as you can. You want as much situational awareness as you can."
"Satellites can provide you good visibility, but you always want closer eyes on target if you can," Kirby added.
Obama has authorized reconnaissance flights over Syria, which could begin at any time now.
When asked if the U.S. would seek Syrian permission to launch strikes against the terrorist group, Kirby said, "Not getting into the hypothetical operations, there's no intention to coordinate with Syrian authorities."
The U.S. was opposed to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad when the Syrian civil war began in 2011, but the Islamic State-a group that was also opposed to al-Assad for religious regions-has become the greater threat since conquering large swaths of Iraq in 2014.
The U.N. estimates that more than 191,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war since it began.
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