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US Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets Under Way in Syria

Report from ABC news (Source link):- ‘Airstrikes against up to 20 ISIS targets are under way in Syria, according to Pentagon officials. The operation marks the first time the U.S. has launched strikes in Syria, a new front in the battle against the terror group.

“I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL [ISIS] terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

“Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time,” Kirby said. “The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief.”

Several Arab nations are involved in the ongoing U.S.-led operation, a defense official said. A diplomatic source identified the nations as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Another U.S. official said the Arab nations will be dropping bombs, not just providing support. Up to 20 locations have been targeted in the operation, many of the sites in Raqqa, the official said.

Last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress that the U.S. military’s plan for potential action in Syria included “targeted actions against ISIL [ISIS] safe havens in Syria, including its command and control, logistics capabilities and infrastructure.”

Other officials had said before that surveillance aircraft have been flying over Syria for weeks gathering information on potential ISIS targets such as training camps, command and control areas, warehouses, and supply routes.

In a national address on Sept. 10, President Obama said the first part of his strategy to counter ISIS was to “conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.”

“Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL [ISIS] in Syria as well as Iraq,” Obama said. “This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

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The stealth F-22 Raptor took part in the mission, a U.S. defense official said, marking the first time the pricey, controversial aircraft has been used in a combat operation.

In recent weeks, a self-described ISIS militant is believed to have killed two Americans on camera — journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff — as well a British aid worker. The group is suspected of holding at least two more Americans and has publicly threatened a second Briton.

As of earlier today the U.S. had launched nearly 200 strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

On Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told ABC News’ “This Week” that America would not conduct airstrikes in Syria alone. But already Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that some 40 countries, including a number of Arab nations, have offered various levels of support to the anti-ISIS effort. France announced last week it would join in airstrikes in the battle against ISIS.’