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Syria 'Not America's Fight Alone,' But Partner Roles Unclear

President Obama emphasized a broader coalition in the fight against ISIS, but Tuesday morning he offered few specifics.

Syria 'Not America's Fight Alone,' But Partner Roles Unclear
U.S. Department of Defense
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OBAMA VIA THE WHITE HOUSE: "It must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people."

It was brief, but Tuesday morning President Obama said the fight against ISIS is not America's fight alone and repeatedly emphasized the help and support of other countries, though it's still not clear the nature of that support. (Via The White House)

Monday night we learned the U.S. — along with unspecified help from five Arab nations — started hitting ISIS in Syria with 14 airstrikes and 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. (Video via U.S. Department of Defense)

According to U.S. Central Command, that military action "destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets." There was a separate mission to stop what Central Command called an "imminent attack" against the West planned by Khorasan, an Al-Qaeda-linked group. But we don't know much about that alleged planned attack. (Video via U.S. Navy)

ISIS had already been targeted by U.S. airstrikes in Iraq — around 200 to be exact — with support from the Iraqi government. (Video via ABC)

But expanding military action to Syria is a big step. Big because — though we already knew it was likely to happen, and though the U.S. apparently notified Syria ahead of time and has President Bashar al-Assad's endorsement —  analysts say airstrikes might drive jihadists to find sanctuary among civilians. Needless to say, that would complicate the fight. (Video via U.S. Navy)

Worst-case scenario, the airstrikes weaken but don't actually stop ISIS, with an estimated 30,000 fighters. Which begs the question — what then? Some senior military leaders have floated the possibility of ground troops. President Obama didn't address that in his three-minute statement Tuesday morning. 

Syria is now in its fourth year of a bloody civil war responsible for more than 120,000 deaths. ISIS was born out of the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, whose government the U.S. itself threatened with airstrikes just a year ago. (Video via Sky News)

This video includes images from Getty Images.