Armed US drones, reportedly hunting for Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, were spotted flying over Syrian airspace where the jihadists have stronghold, reports suggest.
Residents of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa took photographs of remotely piloted planes flying over the area. Experts have identified the drones as 'US Predators', which were used in Pakistan and Yemen to attack suspected terrorists, The Telegraph reports.
The United States has not made this military activity public but there is a widespread expectation that the Obama Administration will be stepping up its efforts to defeat the hardliner Sunni militant outfit, which has captured swathes of area in Iraq's north and in Syria over the past few months, declaring Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its 'Caliph'.
The reports of the unmanned drones being sent to target the self-proclaimed leader of the Sunni extremist organisation, is a clear indication that the US will not back down in their mission to annihilate the terrorist group that has proved to be the greatest threat to Washington in recent times, which according to Pentagon, even surpasses that once posed by al-Qaeda.
Even as President Obama has succeeded in assembling nine NATO nations that are willing to join the US in crushing the militant group, diplomatic efforts to win support were further bolstered on Monday when Iraq's parliament voted to approve a new government under Haider Al-Abadi's leadership. The new government is expected to cooperate fully with the US in its ambition to defeat the insurgents.
The United States is particularly hopeful of better days ahead as Abadi, who is a member of Iraq's Shiite majority had earlier promised to include Sunnis and Kurds in his government. The US is convinced that ISIS's prominence and growth might somehow be checked if the country heals itself of the massive sectarian divide that it is suffering from.
The increased measure to check the militants' influence comes as the new head of the UN human rights office in Geneva, said the world's foremost human rights priority needs to be ending the deadly conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
"It would be a harsh, mean-spirited, house of blood, where no shade would be offered, nor shelter given, to any non-Takfiri in their midst," Zeid Raad al-Hussein said while describing the gruesome nature of the jihadist group.