Top US officials say President Barack Obama wants to decide American strategy for combating extremist group Islamic State’s strongholds in Syria. Yet the administration is still scrambling to understand the goals and limits of potential military action.
Top members of the Obama administration have held meetings this week to surmise how expanding a military campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS) in eastern Syria might play out. American airstrikes have already occurred against IS targets in Iraq, where the jihadist group controls large swaths of the west and north.
“Nobody has talked to us about carrying out airstrikes [in Syria], up to this moment,” Hadi AlBahra, president of the Syrian National Coalition, a group of Assad opponents, told The Daily Beast. “If I were in their place, I would talk to us, because we are on the ground and we are in a better position to tell them where the ISIS forces are.”