BEIRUT

Middle East

Obama has taken no decision on Syria airstrikes: White House

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One at Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station in Bourne, Mass., Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, on return to Washington after their family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON: The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama had so far made no decision on whether to launch air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria.

"The president has not made any decision to conduct military action in Syria," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, amid rising expectations of US action following American attacks against the jihadist group in Iraq.

Earnest addressed reports that the Pentagon has been preparing options for US military action in Syria, saying it was the job of the US military headquarters to plan for all kinds of scenarios.

"The president has not made any decision to order military action in Syria," Earnest said, before the president was due to meet Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on issues including the situation in Iraq and the threat from IS.

Earnest did not directly respond to a comment by President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria that it was willing to work with the United States to take on "terrorism" inside Syria, in a reference to IS forces opposed by both Washington and Damascus.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was also quoted as saying that any US air strikes would require coordination with the government in Damascus or they would be considered a violation of its sovereignty.

Washington has repeatedly demanded Assad leave power and accused him of gross violations of human rights in a civil war that has killed at least 190,000 people.

Earnest appeared to hint that if Obama were to decide to launch attacks on Syrian territory, he would not feel the need to inform the Damascus government.

"The president has already demonstrated a willingness, where necessary ... to use military force to protect the American people, regardless of borders. 

"This is evident from the president ordering the mission to go and get Osama bin Laden.

"The United States was not invited in by the Pakistani government. That was a decision that the president made to go and get Osama bin Laden."

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here