Sep 11, 2014 12:40 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the United States will expand its offensive against Islamic State militants, authorizing military airstrikes in Syria. The declaration intensifies the U.S. effort to confront the extremist group that has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria and recently beheaded two Americans.
In a prime-time address to the nation, Obama said the U.S. will confront Islamic State militants "wherever they exist."
Obama administration officials were silent on when such strikes could begin, saying they did not want to telegraph such actions.
The administration has already targeted Islamic State forces in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government. But in Syria, the U.S. would have to act without permission from Syrian President Bashar Assad. The U.S. has supported Assad's ouster and has backed moderate rebel forces.