US President Barack Obama has promised to address the threat posed by the ISIL militant group and their beheading of American journalist James Foley.
Obama said on Tuesday that the administration is assessing expanding airstrikes to Syria to target the “barbaric terrorists” of ISIL.
“Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple: America does not forget; our reach is long; we are patient; justice will be done,” the president said during a speech to the American Legion in Charlotte.
“We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans. And we’ll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people and to defend our homeland.”
The United States has conducted airstrikes against the militants in Iraq.
President Obama ordered airstrikes earlier this month against ISIL targets in Iraq, and on Tuesday he defended that effort as “necessary to protect our people.”
He also said that strikes had “helped Iraqi forces begin to push back these terrorists.”
Meanwhile, American officials said the United States has already begun surveillance flights over militant-controlled parts of Syria after Obama’s authorization.
One unnamed official said on Tuesday that the reconnaissance flights had started, while two other officials said earlier that Obama had ordered the flights.
On Monday, the Syrian government insisted that any military action on its soil must be coordinated in advance.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said that Syria rejects any unilateral military strikes by the US or any other country.
American officials, however, said they do not intend to ask permission from Damascus for the flights.
By Press TV
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