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Strikes Begin Against ISIL in Syria

 

U.S. military forces and partner nations, including Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, launched attacks against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Syria overnight, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) to conduct 14 strikes against ISIL targets, according to a CENTCOM release.

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) launched 47 TLAMs from international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf.

The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles, according to CENTCOM.

Super Hornets launch

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, prepare to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) to conduct strike missions against ISIL targets. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert Burck

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) launched 47 TLAMs from international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations also carried out airstrikes. Air Force F-22 Raptors conducted their first airstrikes during the mission. In addition, aircraft from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates also participated in airstrikes against ISIL targets. Qatar played a supporting role. All of the aircraft safely exited the strike areas.

In Iraq yesterday, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists, using attack aircraft to conduct four airstrikes. The airstrikes destroyed two ISIL Humvees, an ISIL armed vehicle and an ISIL fighting position southwest of Kirkuk. No aircraft were shot down. U.S. Central Command has now conducted a total of 194 airstrikes against ISIL forces in Iraq.

Strike Eagles Syria ISIL

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq early in the morning of Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. The aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIL targets in Syria. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch

U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations also carried out airstrikes.

The United States conducted these strikes as part of the President Barack Obama’s comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL. The U.S. military will continue to conduct targeted airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq as local forces go on the offensive against this terrorist group, according to CENTCOM.

Prowler traps aboard

An EA-6B Prowler attached to the Garudas of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) after conducting strike missions against ISIL targets. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens

The United States has also taken separate and individual action against a “network of seasoned al Qaeda veterans – sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group” to disrupt its imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests. The group has established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations. The strikes were undertaken solely by U.S. assets.

In addition, aircraft from the Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates also participated in airstrikes against ISIL targets. Qatar played a supporting role.

In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo, including training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.