US and Arab allies launch first airstrikes against IS militants in Syria
The US and its Arab allies have launched their first air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also called Islamic State (IS) terrorists, in Syria.
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Admiral John Kirby said the strikes are being made under authorisation granted by the US President Barack Obama and are carried out through a mix of US fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as Tomahawk land attack missiles.
"Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time," Kirby said.
An unnamed senior US military official was quoted by CNN as saying that the strikes were meant to target the ability of the militants to command and control, resupply and train.
Several Arab countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE participated in the bombing campaign, while Qatar played a supporting role, the official added.
According to the Syrian opposition activists, the airstrikes hit a post office, a recruitment centre and a building in the governor's compound in the IS stronghold of Raqqa in north-eastern Syria.
Information regarding casualties currently remains undisclosed.
On 10 September, Obama authorised airstrikes inside Syria in a bid to root out the militant group, which currently controls several cities in northern Iraq and Syria.
US reconnaissance planes have been flying over Syria in the last several weeks to gather intelligence on potential IS targets.
The US Central Command launched aerial campaign against IS in Iraq in early August, and has since carried out a total of 190 airstrikes across the country, enabling the Iraqi and Kurdish fighters to take control of strategic facilities and towns from the terrorists.
Image: The Islamic State militants currently control several cities in northern Iraq and Syria. Photo: courtesy of SyriaHR Observatory ©.