MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama is close to authorizing airstrikes in Syria against the positions of the Islamic State militants for the first time since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, The New York Times reported quoting a senior US administration official.
The US president will deliver an address on the case later on Wednesday.
The US Army began airstrikes against ISIS positions in Iraq in June. The possible authorization of airstrikes in Syria would see US forces combatting the Islamist radicals in both countries of the Islamic State’s operational presence.
The US administration looks forward to cooperation with Congress on the matter. “Our efforts are more effective when the President and Congress work together to combat a national security threat like ISIS,” White House press release on the president’s meeting with the Congressional leaders on national security issues informed Tuesday.
The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control later that month.
The group is known for its brutal tactics, including public executions, and has caused tens of thousands of non-Muslims in the region to flee their homes. The United Nations has accused ISIS of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In August, the Islamist group beheaded two American journalists, James Foley and Steven J. Sotloff, who had been captive since 2012 and 2013, respectively.