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U.S Recruiting Allies To Support Further Airstrikes, Syrian Opposition

( [email protected] ) Aug 27, 2014 04:54 PM EDT
According to a new report, the Obama administration is pressing U.S. allies to increase support for rebel groups in Syria, as well as possible military operations.
As the United States begins mobilizing for possible military action in Syria, rebels on Tuesday were in a war-torn area of Aleppo. (Getty Images)

The Obama administration is reportedly pressuring U.S. allies to increase their support for moderate rebel groups in Syria, as well as expanded military operation to broaden the campaign against the Islamic State in IRaq and Syria (ISIS).

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that White House officials believe that Great Britain and Australia would be willing to join the United States in carrying out airstrikes in Syria, and that Turkey would give it access to key military bases. The government is also reportedly seeking intelligence from Jordan.

"Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won't be easy, and it won't be quick," Mr. Obama said in a speech on Tuesday to the American Legion in Charlotte, N.C., using an alternative name for ISIS. He said that the United States was building a coalition to "take the fight to these barbaric terrorists," and that the militants would be "no match" for a united international community.

According to The Times, the United States government has also asked Turkish authorities to help seal that country's border with Syria, as foreign militants attempting to join the Islamic state are easily able to cross over it.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has also called for action against the violent group of Islamic extremists;in a recent article published in the Sunday Telegraph, Cameron said that Britain was "in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology."

"The brighter future [Great Britain] longs for requires a long-term plan for our security as well as for our economy," Cameron wrote. "True security will only be achieved if we use all our resources - aid, diplomacy, our military prowess - to help bring about a more stable world. Today, when every nation is so immediately interconnected, we cannot turn a blind eye and assume that there will not be a cost for us if we do."

Late Monday, the Pentagon began sending surveillance drones on flights over Syria to gather intelligence on ISIS positions after Obama approved their use over the weekend. The Times cited a report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that "non-Syrian spy planes" on Monday carried out surveillance of ISIS positions in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Although the Assad government in Damascus has warned the United States not to strike ISIS hotspots on Syrian territory without asking permission, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that "We're not going to ask permission from the Syrian regime." However, she also noted that Obama has not yet made a decision on whether to approve airstrikes in Syria.

Fox News reports that over the weekend, the United Nations' special representative to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said the situation in Amerli was "desperate, and called for "immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens." The BBC reported Saturday that the town had no electricity or drinking water, and is running out of food and medical supplies.

"I urge the Iraqi government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive life-saving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner," Mr Mladenov said in a statement