US begins bombing ISIL positions in Syria

2014-09-22 22:47:29 | Al Muslim News
US begins bombing ISIL positions in Syria


The United States has said it and its Arab allies have begun bombing positions held by ISIL in Syria, the first such attacks since forming a coalition to confront the group.The AP news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying that the airstrikes began at about 00.30 GMT on Tuesday, and were conducted by the US, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE. As yet those states have not confirmed their involvement to Al Jazeera. The first wave of strikes took about 90 minutes, but the operation was expected to continue for several more hours. The US did not confirm what was targeted, but reports on social media stated that areas of Raqqa - the ISIL stronghold in Syria - were kit. There were about 20 attacks in the first wave, according to reports in Washington. "I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk land attack missiles," a spokesman for the department of defence said. "The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the US central command commander under authorisation granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate." The attacks come just two weeks after the US formed a coalition to confront the ISIL group, which has taken over large areas of Syria and Iraq and declared a "caliphate". It includes Nato, Australia and Arab nations. The US president, Barack Obama, said on September 10 that the expanded campaign would degrade and ultimately destroy the group. The attacks come a day after ISIL's spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, called on supporters of the group to attack foreigners wherever they are. In a 43-minute video, Adnani said: "If you can kill a disbelieving American or European - especially the spiteful and filthy French - or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that joined a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon God, and kill him in any manner.'' Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said the timing of the coalition's attacks must been seen in context with ISIL's announcement. "This was a doctrinal shift by ISIL, previously they maintained they weren't at war with the US and its allies and that their key goal was to strengthen the caliphate.".

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