The ministry issued a brief statement, carried by Syrian state media, saying, «The American side informed Syria’s permanent envoy to the U.N
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The U.S. military has launched airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. The U.S. military said five Arab nations had roles in the attacks, which focused on ISIS’ heartland around the Syrian province of Raqqa.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement Monday evening that fighters, bombers and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles were used.
«The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander under authorization granted him by the Commander in Chief,» Kirby said.
The White House said President Barack Obama would speak about the airstrikes before flying to New York on Tuesday morning for the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
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The strikes hit targets in and around the city of Raqqa and the province with the same name, activists said. Raqqa is the militant group’s self-declared capital; it began referring to itself as simply the «Islamic State» during the summer. Video purporting to show a series of strikes in Raqqa surfaced on YouTube, although its authenticity has not been independently verified.
«The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles,» CENTCOM said in a statement, using an alternate acronym for the group.
The Reuters news agency quoted a group that tracks the war as saying at least 20 ISIS fighters were killed in the strikes.
Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information from a network of activists on the ground, told the agency at least 50 strikes were carried out on ISIS targets in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Deir el-Zour.
Video released by the U.S. Navy showed the launch of multiple Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) from the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea.
USS Philippine Sea launches The statement released by CENTCOM said Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates «also participated in or supported the airstrikes against ISIL targets.»
It was not immediately clear exactly what role each of those nations played, but Jordan confirmed it had carried out strikes with its own fighter jets inside Syria and «destroyed a number of selected targets used by terrorist groups to dispatch their members for terrorist attacks» in Jordan.
America’s Arab partners did not, however, participate in U.S. airstrikes against another group in Syria which American intelligence officials say has emerged as a more urgent threat to the U.S. homeland.
«The United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qa’ida veterans — sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group,» CENTCOM said in its statement.
CBS News’ Bob Orr said late last week that Khorasan — a group of operatives U.S. officials say were dispatched by al Qaeda’s central command in Pakistan to try and link up the terror network’s bomb-making experts with Western jihadists who have joined the fight in Syria — was deemed a more imminent threat to the U.S. than even ISIS.
Khorasan is believed to be a subset of al Qaeda’s larger affiliated group in Syria, al-Nusra Front, which has battled against both the Assad regime and ISIS for territory in the country’s north. Al-Nusra enjoys significant popular support inside Syria, and is believed to be directly supported by some Arab Gulf states, including some listed as partners in the strikes against ISIS.
According to the Syrian Observatory, citing local activists on the ground, at least 50 Nusra fighters were killed in strikes against al-Nusra in the Idlib province. The observatory said eight civilians, including two children, were also killed. It was not immediately clear, however, whether those strikes were carried out by U.S. planes, allied nations, or by the Syrian military.
Unconfirmed reports suggested airstrikes were continuing around Idlib, but it was unclear who might be carrying them out. The U.S. military confirmed only eight strikes against Khorasan «west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.» Idlib city is to the southwest of Aleppo, but the exact location of the U.S. strikes were not given.
An anti-militant media collective entitled «Raqqa is being silently slaughtered» said targets included the government building used by ISIS militants as their headquarters, and the Brigade 93, a Syrian army base the militants recently seized.
The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday that the United States informed Damascus’ envoy to the United Nations before launching the airstrikes.
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