Obama admits 'no strategy' on IS in Syria

2014-08-28 22:45:07 | Al Muslim News
Obama admits 'no strategy' on IS in Syria

 

Barack Obama has said the US has "no strategy" against the Islamic State in Syria but said officials had been asked to prepare a range of military options for confronting the group. The US president's comments on Thursday cautioned against speculation that he was close to a decision to expand his air campaign against the Islamic State beyond Iraq."I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama said. "We don't have a strategy yet. I think what I've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are." "They have no ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people," Obama said, adding that Middle Eastern countries must drop their ambivilance towards the group. He said his top priority remained rolling back the group's gains in Iraq, where he has said they pose a threat to US personnel in Erbil and Baghdad. "Our focus right now is to protect American personnel on the ground in Iraq, to protect our embassy, to protect our consulates, to make sure that critical infrastructure that could adversely affect our personnel is protected,'' he said. Obama has come under increasing pressure to deal with the Islamic State in Syria after months of territorial gains, and the murder of the US journalist James Foley just over a week ago. US officials earlier this week stated that it was flying spying missions over Syria to gather intelligence on the group. Obama's comments came after activists posted the lastest evidence of Islamic State atrocities in Syria, with pictures showing the aftermath of the group's takeover of a Syrian army base in Raqqa province. The armed group shot some and stabbed others using knives in the latest brutal mass killing, activists said on Thursday. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighters rounded up the soldiers near Tabqa airfield, three days after seizing the base in heavy fighting. Rami Abdurrahman, the observatory's director, said the fighters killed up to 65 soldiers. He said some were shot to death, while others were killed with knives. A statement posted online and circulated on Twitter by supporters of the Islamic State group claimed the fighters killed "about 200" government prisoners captured near Tabqa. The photos could not immediately be verified, but correspond to other reporting by the AP news agency. Meanwhile, reports on Thursday said that the Islamic State had "waterboarded" hostages in Syria, including the American journalist James Foley. Waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, was used by the US on captives in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001..

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

Turkey, Iran, Iraq concerned over Kurdish referendum

ANKARA: Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to consider counter-measures against Kurdish northern Iraq over a planned independence referendum, Turkey&rs... More

Three civilians killed in held Kashmir claim police

SRINAGAR: Authorities in India-held Kashmir claimed that suspected militants hurled a grenade at motorcade of a local government minister on Thursday,... More

Trump budget opens new fight among Republicans

WASHINGTON: Republican U.S. Representative Todd Rokita keeps a clock hanging on the wall of his Capitol Hill office that tracks the U.S. government... More

15 dead as migrant boat sinks off Turkey Black Sea coast

Fifteen people drowned and up to 15 more were missing on Friday after a fishing boat carrying migrants sunk off Turkey's Black Sea coast, the coas... More

Iran s Rouhani vows to strengthen missiles despite US warnings

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Friday that Iran would boost its missile capabilities despite warnings from Washington that it is ready t... More

Fresh fires bomb blast in Myanmars Rakhine

Twenty homes caught fire and a bomb was detonated near a mosque in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the government said on Friday, the latest unrest in a ... More

Pakistan tells UN wont be scapegoat in Afghan war

Pakistan refuses to be a “scapegoat” for Afghanistan's bloodshed or to fight wars for others, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told... More

Kashmiris protest atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Dozens of activists staged a demonstration in the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday to condemn the alleged violence and discriminatio... More

Haj success opens way for talks with Saudi: Iran

Iran thanked Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for its handling of the Haj operations, saying it opened the way for negotiations between the regional rivals. ... More

North Korea nuclear test more powerful than estimated: Japan

Japan's defence minister on Tuesday said North Korea's latest nuclear test was more powerful than initially estimated, with a yield that was a... More

84