New day, same war. Oh wait, we haven’t quite declared war just yet. But the US and its allies have launched airstrikes targeting ISIS, the Islamist group, in Syria early Tuesday morning local time.
American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants known as the Islamic State. American military officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.
“The U.S. military plans to strike up to 20 targets in and around Raqqa, Syria,” according to NBC News. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby confirmed the military operation in a statement on Monday night:
I can confirm that U.S. 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. Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time. The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate.
The strikes came less than two weeks after President Obama announced in an address to the nation that he was authorizing an expansion of the military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
The strikes began after years of debate within the Obama administration about whether the United States should intervene militarily or should avoid another entanglement in a complex war in the Middle East. But the Islamic State controls a broad swath of land across both Iraq and Syria.
It might not be war, but it looks to be the continuation of conflict in the Middle East that has the potential to last for months, if not years.
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