- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A vocal branch of the Syrian revolution sent a message to President Obama Wednesday by condemning the beheading of James Foley and lauding the American photojournalist as being willing “to sacrifice his blood to enlighten Obama’s vague vision.”

Najib Gradibian, a special representative for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution Opposition Forces, said in a statement Wednesday that Mr. Foley’s death is a reminder that the Islamic State “has declared war on the civilized world.”

The Islamic State has pushed its way through portions of Iraq and Syria, conquering cities and confiscating oilfields and military weapons in its wake.

Earlier Wednesday, Syrian government forces engaged in a brutal firefight with Islamic State fighters in the northern part of the country, according to The Associated Press.

Those forces are attempting to prevent the group from seizing Tabqa air base, a sprawling facility that is the last stronghold the Syrian government in a province overrun by the group’s supporters.

U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria are absolutely necessary, said Oubai Shahbandar, strategic communications adviser for the coalition.

The Syrian opposition leadership who met with Mr. Obama and Pentagon officials in May have made it clear that they are “ready and willing to work with the United States to defeat” their common enemy, Mr. Shahbandar said.

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