Syria warns against strikes on territory outside its control

The Washington Post reports: Syria warned the United States on Monday not to extend its air war against radical Islamist militants into Syria, saying that it would regard any attempt to do so as an act of “aggression.”

The warning came a day after fighters with the Islamic State group overran another important Syrian military facility, putting them in full control of the north-central province of Raqqah. American photojournalist James Foley was held for much of his captivity in the province before he was beheaded last week by a masked Islamic State guard with a British accent.

Raqqah is also the site of a failed rescue attempt earlier this summer in which Delta Force commandos sought to snatch Foley and a group of other Americans held by the Islamic State from a prison east of the city of Raqqah, according to U.S. officials and witnesses in the area.

U.S. officials have not ruled out extending the airstrikes launched in Iraq earlier this month into Syria, where the Islamic State has been battling the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

On Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem signaled that Damascus would not be prepared to tolerate unilateral action against the extremists even in the parts of the country that the government no longer controls. [Continue reading…]

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