Coalition carries out 200 air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria

Added by on September 23, 2014

Isis targets in Raqa Photograph: Guardian

Isis targets in Raqa Photograph: Guardian

The U.S. Pentagon said the U.S. military and five arabic allies that include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain launched about 200 air strikes on 14 ISIS targets within Syria.

In a statement, U.S. President Obama said of the air strikes the armed forces “took strikes to disrupt plotting against the United States and our allies by seasoned al-Qaeda operatives in Syria who are known as the Khorasam group.”

The U.S. Central Command said the air strikes damaged a number of ISIL targets near the Syrian cities of Ar Raqqah, Dayra az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal – all located in the north and northeast of Syria. The targets included fighters, training compounds, storage facilities, training compounds, supply trucks, and command and control facilities.

Initial reports said the air strikes were against eight targets – the U.S. Pentagon later said there were fourteen target sites.

The attacks were carried out by the U.S. and a coalition made up of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jorda, Bahrain, and Qatar.

The permanent representative of the Syria to the United Nations, formally referred to as the permanent representative of Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations said the the US Ambassador made the Syrian mission aware of the air strikes before they occurred.

The coordinated air strikes started at approximately midnight GMT/UTC and included the use of Tomahawk cruise missiles, fighter jets, bombers, and drones.

Reports say officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said the air strikes were partly to prevent an “imminent attack against the U.S. and western interests”.

While U.S. officials say the campaign was a success, groups like the Syrian Opposition Coalition said the attacks may not have been enough to defeat extremism.

In response to a question about whether the partnership with Arab nations against ISIS is contained for this campaign only, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said, “I think you will continue to see this coalition work together in Syria.”

The Pentagon said that the air strikes “were only the beginning” and that they would continue for a number of days.

The number of ISIS fighters killed during in air strikes was not known, and it is unknown whether any civilians were killed or injured.

The terrorist group ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is also known as ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or more commonly the IS, Islamic State, is a Sunni jihadist group that is active in Iraq and Syria. The CIA estimates there are between 20,000 and 32,000 IS fighters in Iraq and Syria.