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US plans surveillance flights in Syria to track militants: Official

Published on Aug 26, 2014 9:23 AM
An Israel soldier launches an Israeli army's Skylark I unmanned drone aircraft, which is used for monitoring purposes, at an army deployment area near Israel's border with the besieged Palestinian territory, on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is poised to send spy planes into Syria to track Islamist militants, preparing the way for possible air strikes against jihadists there, a senior US official said on Monday.

The surveillance aircraft, including unmanned drones, would seek to gain a clearer picture of the extremists from the Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who have seized territory in both Syria and Iraq, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the planned flights, which it said are due to begin "shortly."

US warplanes for more than two weeks have carried out a limited air campaign against the IS militants in Iraq, with most of the bombing raids conducted near Mosul dam in the country's north.

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