Tags: Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | Islamic State | ISIS | airstrikes

Pentagon: US Launched Most Airstrikes Against ISIS

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 11:41 AM

An international coalition may be in place to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State (ISIS), but most of the airstrikes launched against the militants in Syria have been carried out by the United States, according to military officials.

Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr., the director of operations with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that most of the strikes were made with Tomahawk cruise missiles and American war planes, reports The New York Times, in hopes of keeping the Islamic State out of Iraq.

"What we have been doing over these last couple of weeks and what last night’s campaign was about was simply buying them some space so that they can get on the offensive,” Mayville said.

Five Sunni Arab nations that have either joined or supported the attack did report having some part, however. Jordan reported "a number of Royal Jordanian Air Force fighters" hit targets, but did not say where. The United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reported launching its first strikes against the Islamic State targets on Monday night. Meanwhile, U.S. officials also said Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were involved in the Syrian airstrikes, with Qatar taking a "supporting" part.

About 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the destroyer Arleigh Burke at midnight local time on Monday, military officials said, and were aimed at positions in Aleppo, and at the Islamic State targets around the insurgents' headquarters in Raqqa.

Officials said the United States did the first stage of the attack alone, and the Arab nations joined in the second stage after, with planes from the coalition countries and the U.S. bombing ISIS compounds and vehicles in northern Syria.

In addition to the Islamic State, bombs also hit targets of an an al-Qaida offshoot called the Khorasan, calling it an imminent threat.

https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Airstrikes-Syria-ISIS-counterterrorism/2014/09/24/id/596553/

Intelligence officials described the group as a unit of al-Nusra, al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria, which was formed just to plot attacks against Western targets.

The Arab nations were also involved in the third wave of airstrikes in Syria, with a senior military official telling The Times that during the three waves, the coalition used almost as many bombs as had been used by the U.S. to date against the Islamic State targets.

Except for the Tomahawks, a Pentagon official said Tuesday, all of the airstrikes came from within Syrian airspace. However, it was not made clear whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave permission for the strikes or if the American military had jammed the country's air defense system.

Some of the shots were extremely targeted. During a press briefing, military officials showed photos including the bombing at an ISIS finance center in Raqqa that destroyed communications equipment on the building's roof while leaving the rest of the structure standing.

Mayville also said officials hope to limit civilian casualties. This could help keep ISIS from using civilian deaths for propaganda that could attract other militant action, American officials believe.

Related stories:

Republicans: Syria Airstrikes Good, but US Needs Ground Troops
Clapper: ISIS, Like Viet Cong, Surprise With 'Will to Fight'

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An international coalition may be in place to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State (ISIS), but most of the airstrikes launched against the militants in Syria have been carried out by the United States, according to military officials.
Islamic State, ISIS, airstrikes, Pentagon
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2014-41-24
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 11:41 AM
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