Tuesday, 23 September 2014

US-Arab Joint Operation Targets ISIL Terrorists in Syria

 Local Editor

US and Arab warplanes hammered terrorist militants of the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) in eastern Syria early Tuesday, opening a new front in the fight against the terrorist group, U.S. defense officials said.

Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the bombing raids, US media reported, in an extraordinary show of solidarity against the ISIL terrorist group that has rampaged through Syria and Iraq.

"I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL (Islamic State group) terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

Later in the day, Jordan confirmed that it joined the US-led strikes.

"We took part in the strikes which are part of our efforts to defeat terrorism in its strongholds," government spokesman Mohammad Al-Momani said.

The decision to conduct the air strikes was undertaken on Monday by the head of US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, "under authorization granted him by the commander in chief," Kirby said.

"We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate."

The UK-based opposition Human Rights Observatory said that coalition air strikes killed 30 Al-Qaeda militants in western Aleppo province.

The toll came after the Pentagon confirmed eight strikes against "seasoned Al-Qaeda veterans" in the province, saying the raids disrupting "imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests".

The strikes focused on ISIL positions in Raqa, a stronghold for the extremists, as well as targets along the Iraq-Syria border, according to a second Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

US F-22 fighter jets, America's most sophisticated warplane, were scheduled to take part in the raids as well -- the first combat mission for the costly aircraft, the second official said.

Along with "ongoing" air raids, the US military fired Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships in the Gulf and Red Sea, the official said.

The US-led coalition hit ISIL targets in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor early as well, the opposition UK-based Observatory said.

Most of the targets hit were in the Deir Ezzor town of Albu Kamal on the Iraq border, the Human Rights Observatory stated.

"The coalition carried out 22 air and missile strikes against the town of Albu Kamal," it noted.

A senior White House official told AFP that Obama was "being updated on the operation" in Syria.

US media said the president had spoken to Congressional leaders about the strikes.

The wave of strikes came less than two weeks after Obama warned that he had approved an expansion of the campaign against the terrorist group to include action in Syria.

The air strikes in Syria came as Kurdish militia fought to defend a key border town in northern Syria, after 130,000 terrified residents fled to Turkey to escape an ISIL terrorist advance.

Source: AFP
23-09-2014 - 08:23 Last updated 23-09-2014 - 12:15

Three children killed in unauthorized US strikes on Syria

Published Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Unauthorized airstrikes by US-led coalition forces in Syria killed around 30 fighters from al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and eight civilians including children, a Britain-based group monitoring the war from the said on Tuesday.
Three children were among the eight civilians killed when strikes targeted a residential building in Aleppo province used by Nusra, the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The US military said in a statement it had "destroyed or damaged multiple (Islamic State) targets" around the cities of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Hasakah and the border town of Albu Kamal."
The targets included "(Islamic State) fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance centre, supply trucks and armed vehicles," it said.
The US military said it launched 47 Tomahawk missiles from warships in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, and used remotely piloted and bomber aircraft.
Syria has long warned the United States that any strikes on its territory without Damascus's permission would constitute a violation of its sovereignty and be regarded as an act of aggression.
Damascus said the United States had informed it hours before the strikes that Islamic State targets would be hit in Raqqa, 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Damascus.
"The foreign minister received a letter from his American counterpart via the Iraqi foreign minister, in which he informed him that the United States and some of its allies would target (Islamic State) in Syria," the Syrian foreign ministry said. "That was hours before the raids started."
A ministry statement read on state television said Syria would continue to attack Islamic State in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor -- areas of eastern and northern Syria -- and coordination with Iraq was continuing "at the highest level."
The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the United States for leading attacks on Syria without seeking Damascus's permission.
"Any such action can be carried out only in accordance with international law. That implies not a formal, one-sided 'notification' of airstrikes but the presence of explicit consent from the government of Syria or the approval of a corresponding UN Security Council decision," it said in a statement.
"Attempts to achieve one's own geopolitical goals in violation of the sovereignty of countries in the region only exacerbates tensions and further destabilizes the situation."
(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Related Articles

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

No comments: