U.S. Notified Bashar Assad's Government Before Syria Airstrikes

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/ Source: Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday that Washington informed Damascus' envoy to the United Nations before launching airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. A brief ministry statement, carried by Syrian state media, said "the American side informed Syria's permanent envoy to the U.N. that strikes will be launched against the Daesh terrorist organization in Raqqa." The statement used an Arabic name referring to ISIS, which seized large chunks of Syrian and Iraqi territory in a blitz this summer. A State Department spokesman confirmed early Tuesday that "the Syrian regime was notified that the coalition was going to take direct action" against ISIS inside the country. "We did not seek the regime's permission, we didn't coordinate our actions with the Syrian government, and Secretary [of State John] Kerry did not send a letter to the Syrian regime," she added.

In the past, Syrian officials have insisted that any strikes against ISIS in the country should come only after coordination with Damascus. Without their consent, Syrian officials have said such airstrikes would be an act of aggression against Syria and a breach of the country's sovereignty.


- The Associated Press