Surveillance Flights Over Syria?

The US has begun surveillance flights over Syria—a potential precursor to airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist group, according to the Associated Press, which cited unnamed military sources. When asked about the surveillance flights during a press conference Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said, “That was reported as a leak and I don’t want to confirm or deny any of that,” reported Stars and Stripes via the AP. Dempsey said the US has “some insights” into the “existence and activities of ISIS on the Syrian side,” though he acknowledged “we certainly want to have more insights into that as we craft a way forward.” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday the President has not yet “made a decision to pursue any sort of military action in Syria.” He noted that the President was to meet with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday, but he declined to say whether the Pentagon had presented any options to the President on striking Syria. “There are entire wings of that very large building that are dedicated to making sure the President has a range of plans and options that they can present to him if and when necessary,” said Earnest. “But, I’m not going to be in a position to talk about the communication at this point.” (White House transcript)