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Obama approves air surveillance flights of IS in Syria Updated: 2014-08-26 16:33:35 KST

U.S. military action against Islamic State militants in Syria is a possibility in the near future, as President Barack Obama has authorized surveillance flights over militant targets in Syria.
A senior U.S. official says Obama made the decision over the weekend and according to defense officials on Monday, the Pentagon was preparing to dispatch manned and unmanned aircraft, including drones and spy planes.

Earlier, Syria's foreign minister said his country welcomes any international help, including from the U.S, in fighting Islamic State militants.

"We are ready to cooperate and coordinate with regional countries and the international community in fighting terrorism following the resolutions of the Security Council. We welcome everybody."

The offer was not unconditional though.
Moualem warned that any U.S. airstrikes must be coordinated with Damascus, and that anything else would be considered an aggression.
While the surveillance flights are for gathering intelligence on the Islamic State group, they could become precursors for an expansion of airstrikes in Syria, in addition to those that began in Iraq earlier this month.

Also on Monday, the UN condemned crimes committed by IS militants in Iraq.

"Such cold- blooded, systematic and intentional killing of civilians after singling them out for their religious affiliation may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity."

The UN said there was substantial evidence of widespread rights violations such as targeted killings, abductions, sexual abuse, slavery, and the besieging of specific communities.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
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