US Launches Airstrikes Against Islamic State in Syria
September 22, 2014 — The US and allied nations have begun striking targets against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Pentagon has said.
US spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter and bomber jets and US Tomahawk land attack missiles were being used in the attack on the militant group. The strikes are a part of President Barack Obama’s strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State wherever they are. the Islamic State in recent months has taken over huge swathes of Syria and Iraq.
U.S. and partner nations using mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles against ISIL terrorists in #Syria.
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) September 23, 2014
Airstrikes are ongoing and according to a senior military official “Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates” have all taken part in the strikes. There are additional reports that Qatar and Bahrain are also “actively involved” in the air campaign.
Below is a video, quickly posted by the Syrian activist news agency Step, that purports to show those first strikes over Raqqa. This video has not been independently verified.
According to the BBC “The US has already undertaken 190 air strikes in Iraq since August.”
This as the US continues to engage IS throughout Northern and Western Iraq.
The red represents the Islamic State’s control while pink is area of influence or support.
|Sept. 22: U.S. Military Conducts Airstrikes Against ISIL in Iraq|
|U.S. Central Command News ReleaseSeptember 22, 2014Release #20140923
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETAMPA, Fla., Sept. 22, 2014 – U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq, using a mix of attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct four airstrikes today.In total, the airstrikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL tank, and damaged an ISIL Humvee, all west-southwest of Kirkuk. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.The strikes were conducted as part of the President’s comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 190 airstrikes across Iraq.
Since August the US has been engaged with IS in [or ISIL] in Iraq in order to prevent an IS takeover of Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish area of Iraq.
The Kurds in Northern Iraq have maintained a stable, semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq since the mid 1990s when the UN authorized a protective no-fly-zone across Northern Iraq to protect the Kurds from gas attacks by Saddam Hussein. Since then, the Kurds have strengthened their semi-autonomous credentials through good relations with Western nations and adherence to multicultural democratic principles.
The Sunni Muslim political group IS, formerly known as ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), has gained control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Over the past several months, IS has waged a war against local minorities including a sizable Christian population, along with Shia Muslims and Yazidis (a sect that, along with Christians, have been living in the area for approximately 2000 years). The group has intensified its campaign in recent weeks.
Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes due to advancement by the militants of IS, many heading for the relative safety of the Kurdish region in the north. However, after the group captured Mosul (Iraq’s second largest city) they obtained an estimated two-billion dollars in cash and gold from the bank vaults of the city as well as large amounts of advanced military equipment given to the Iraqi army by the United States. The Kurdish army, known as the Peshmerga, has been unable to stop the advance of IS (now emboldened by heavily armored advanced military technology), despite being a well-trained and formidable fighting force.
We will bring you more information as we get it.