United States and several allies have launched the first air strikes against Syrian positions on jihadist group Islamic State, specifically on Raqa province, a stronghold of the jihadists facto, on the border with Iraq, the Pentagon has confirmed. ” Forces of the United States and allied nations have begun attacks on EI in Syria using a combination of fighters, bombers and ground-air missiles,” said Pentagon spokesman, Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. From the sea, American aircraft carriers in the area have been the basis for launching cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk.
Along with American warplanes have flown devices ” allied nations “, according to information from the Pentagon, among which are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan as a result of the broad coalition of nations gathered by President Barack Obama in order to annihilate the Islamic State. So far, only Jordan has admitted his collaboration.
The offense does not have the approval of Bashar Assad. But a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a televised statement, reported that the Government was informed a few hours before the offensive. According to this information, the Secretary of State, John Kerry, notified to Damascus, through the Minister of Foreign Iraq, Washington’s intentions to attack jihadists. The regime has expressed its willingness to continue cooperating with the Iraqi government in the fight against EI. In the statement, the spokesman maintained that the Syrian Army continue fighting against EI and Nusra Front, linked to Al Qaeda, after the bombing this morning.
The American Army has detailed the early hours of the morning which in total have been 14 attacks conducted against EI. The joint offensive has had the participation of fighters, bombers, drones and Tomahawk missile launchers operated from the sea. The operation hit the jihadists in the provinces of Raqa, Deir al-Zor and Hasakah, besides the town of Abu Kamal, near the Iraqi border, near the Euphrates River. This town was in the hands of Al Nusra, a subsidiary of Al Qaeda in Syria until the EI snatched in July.
According to information from Washington, in the attack launched 47 Tomahawk American destroyers USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea, located in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and from the US- made drones were used. Among the objectives of the bombing are EI fighters, training camps, funding centers and trucks and supply vehicles.
USA, this time alone, has also reached positions of Khorasan radical group linked to Al Qaeda, led by the Kuwaiti Mohsin al-Fadhli and mainly formed by veterans of the Afghan war. The group, according to the arguments of Washington, which foresaw an imminent attack ” against the United States and Western interests,” Syria used to recruit foreign jihadists, test high explosives and planning attacks abroad.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has also reported that the US -led offensive has killed at least 58 people, including 50 members Nusra Front, Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda, and eight civilians.
The attacks come less than two weeks after Obama announced in a speech to the nation that had been authorized to extend the military campaign began in August against IE in Iraq to Syria. The president travels to New York on Tuesday to attend the UN General Assembly and it looks like it has preferred to reach the headquarters of the organization have a plan in place, but not with an open agenda to discuss what to do with the jihadists, which soon have taken large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
More than two thirds of the up to 35,000 jihadists could have the Islamic State is based in Syria. The rest has been expanded and has captured large parts of northern Iraq, although the bombing started by the United States on 8 August have slowed the rapid conquest. A Pentagon attacks on Iraq, about 190 so far, last week joined the French war planes.
With the first air strikes on Syria, the United States is involved in a completely different way in the civil war in that country, conflict so far Washington has kept away. Last year, Obama backtracked on his plan to attack the regime of Bashar al-Assad, but beheading in recent weeks by members of the Islamic State of two reporters from USA gave a total turn American public opinion that demanded the Pentagon intervention before the jihadist threat.
” I have made clear that we will hunt down the terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” Obama said in his speech last September 10. “That means we will not hesitate to take action against EI in Syria and Iraq,” the president continued. “This is a basic principle of my presidency: If you threaten America will not find shelter,” concluded Obama. The president’s words were clear: I was just concerned when Syria attack, if not attack.
At the end of last week, before Congress went into recess until almost November 4 election, both the House and the Senate approved an aid of $ 500 million to train and equip the Syrian moderate forces as a counterweight to EI. These troops receive training in Saudi Arabia.
The White House has not commented on the bombing. Obama is expected to leave Washington after ten o’clock Tuesday morning Tuesday for New York, where facts discussed in his case, this time against the leaders and presidents than 140 countries worldwide.
The goal of the Obama Administration is building a coalition as broad as possible countries to defeat the jihadists, without crossing a red line first to differentiate what happened to George W. Bush who acted alone. The other red line is that there is no ground combat troops, so the President insists that this operation is not a new a new Iraq or Afghanistan, wars that he inherited from Bush.