News ID: 2031
Published: 1252 GMT September 24, 2014

US, Arab allies launch first strikes on ISIL in Syria

US, Arab allies launch first strikes on ISIL in Syria

The United States and its Arab allies bombed Syria for the first time on Tuesday, killing scores of terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and members of a separate Al-Qaeda-linked group, opening a new front against militants by joining a three-year-old conflict.

US Central Command said Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates participated in or supported the strikes against ISIL targets around the eastern cities of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, Hasakah and Albu Kamal, Reuters reported.
Warplanes and ship-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles struck “fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles,” it said.
Washington also said US forces had acted alone to launch eight strikes in another area of Syria against the “Khorasan Group”, an Al-Qaeda unit US officials have described in recent days as posing a threat similar to that from ISIL.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria, said at least 70 ISIL terrorists were killed in strikes that hit at least 50 targets in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor and Hasakah provinces in Syria’s east.
It said at least 50 terrorists and eight civilians were killed in strikes targeting Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, in northern Aleppo and Idlib provinces, apparently referring to the strikes the Americans said targeted Khorasan.
The Observatory said most of the Nusra Front fighters killed were not Syrians.
The Syrian government said Washington had informed it hours before the strikes in a letter from Secretary of State John Kerry sent through his Iraqi counterpart.
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said Tuesday that Damascus backed any international effort against “terrorism,”, state media reported.
“Syria will continue to resolutely fight the war it has been prosecuting for years against... terrorism,” state news agency SANA quoted him as saying.
“It supports any international effort to fight against terrorism,” he added, as he met Iraq’s national security adviser in Damascus.

   
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