Spy flights over Syria begin

Spy flights over Syria begin

ISLAMIC STATE: Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province on June 30. Photo: Reuters

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey says the U.S. has a “more refined picture” of militants from the group Islamic State in Iraq, but it wants more clarity on the group’s operations in Syria.

The surveillance flights could pave the way for airstrikes against militants in Syria.

Dempsey says he thinks meetings with allies in the region are beginning to “set the conditions for some kind of coalition to form” in opposition to the Islamic State group which holds large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

The intelligence would be needed if President Barack Obama were to approve military action, such as air strikes, against Islamic State group targets. The White House says Obama has not approved military action inside Syria, but one official calls the surveillance flights an important avenue for obtaining data.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Butterball is Ready to Help With Turkey Dinner

turkey 2

If you're the type of person that "could make a TV dinner taste like radio," perhaps cooking a turkey isn't exactly in your wheelhouse.

in Local

City Council May Do Away with Ethics Committee

6-30-15 Springfield City Council

The Springfield City Council may do away with

in Local

Springfield Jobless Rate Drops — And More

job apps

Springfield-area Unemployment: 5.1%

in Local

Rauner Issues Pardons

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Rauner granted 10 and denied 200 clemency petitions.

in Local

Springfield Man Convicted of Sexual Assault


Christopher Westfall was convicted in August.