US studying possible strikes on ISIS in Syria - Tucson News Now

US studying possible strikes on ISIS in Syria

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ISIS has fighters in Syria and Iraq and controls large chunks of land in both nations.  (Source: CNN) ISIS has fighters in Syria and Iraq and controls large chunks of land in both nations. (Source: CNN)
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WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - The message from the White House following the horrific beheading of American James Foley by the terrorists known as ISIS is that, ‘If you come after Americans, we will come after you.'

On Friday, the U.S. launched more airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq, but will those airstrikes continue into Syria?

U.S. officials tell CNN there are longstanding and ongoing talks inside the military about increasing airstrikes in Iraq and even the possibility of tailored airstrikes inside Syria against specific ISIS targets.

But officials stress that no decisions have been made by the White House.

"We're actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat. And, we're not going to be restricted by borders,” said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser.

And the Pentagon is divulging nothing.

"We don't telegraph our punches. Rest assured, the leadership in the Pentagon understands the threat posed by this group,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

Talk of military options was stirred up by this comment by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about the threat of ISIS and its ranks of 10,000 fighters.

"Oh, this is beyond anything that we've seen. So, we must prepare for everything. And, the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and - and - and get ready,” Hagel said.

Officials are taking pains to emphasize that any military action would only be part of any long-term strategy against ISIS involving diplomacy and action from other countries in the region.

The Pentagon continues to make the case that airstrikes alone will not defeat ISIS, but it's also not ruling them out.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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