Assad Strikes Hard Against Moderate Rebels, Doesn’t Touch ISIL

Bashar al-Assad / AP

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have intensified their attacks on more moderate rebels battling his government while avoiding strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), the New York Times reports, suggesting that the Syrian regime has a plan to benefit from anticipated U.S. strikes narrowly targeting ISIL in Syria.

Inside the Ring: CIA Goes to War Against Islamic State

This undated file photo posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on Monday, June 30, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from extremist Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria

Behind the scenes of the U.S. military preparations for airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against the al Qaeda offshoot terrorist group Islamic State, the CIA is gearing up for new drone strikes and a surge in intelligence-gathering operations to support it, according to U.S. officials.

House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels

A rebel fighter takes a position as he fires his weapon towards forces loyal to Syria's President Assad who are stationed in Wadi al-Deif military camp in Idlib province

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Barack Obama’s plan on Wednesday to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but questions remain over whether it will give them the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants.