US Seeks Allies in ISIS Fight —but Not Assad

Obama may greenlight military action in Syria, expanded airstrikes in Iraq

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 27, 2014 9:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – After OKing airstrikes in Iraq and spy flights over Syria in an attempt to rein in ISIS, President Obama has started rallying international allies to expand efforts against the militant Sunni group—efforts that may include even more airstrikes in Iraq and possible military action in Syria, reports the New York Times. One thing he won't be doing: partnering with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who also has a vested interest in purging his country of the insurgents. "We're not going to ask for permission from the Syrian regime," a State Department spokeswoman tells the Washington Post.

Although Syria warned Monday that it would consider any US strikes against ISIS in its country "an act of aggression" if not coordinated with its government, it indicated that it's "ready to cooperate and coordinate on the regional and international level in the war on terror," notes the Post. This may be part of the reason why the Obama administration is working behind the scenes to bolster its international support: In addition to getting longtime allies Britain and Australia on board for potential air campaigns, unnamed administration officials say they’re asking Turkey for the use of its military bases, trying to gather intelligence from Jordan, and requesting financial assistance from Saudi Arabia, which supports Syrian opposition forces, notes the Times. "Rooting out a cancer like [ISIS] won't be easy, and it won't be quick," Obama said in a speech yesterday, adding "that the militants would be 'no match' for a united international community."

This undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on Monday, June 30, 2014, shows fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.
This undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on Monday, June 30, 2014, shows fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.   (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center- File)
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