I guess this is Obama’s idea of ‘not going to war’.
The U.S. and five Arab countries launched dozens of air strikes against ISIS overnight in order to show the terror group that its attacks will not go unanswered, America’s top military officer said today.
Army General Martin Dempsey said the raids in northern Syria – which employed Tomahawk missiles, B1 bombers, F16, F18 and F22 strike fighters and drones – will have successfully proved to the radical Islamists that even strongholds such as the city of Raqqa do not represent a ‘safe haven’.
American air power was backed by ‘participation or support’ from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the UAE – a coalition of nations that has agreed to assist with the destruction of ISIS – with Britain not involved in the overnight strikes.
There was also a U.S. attack on a separate band of Islamist militants in Syria – the Al Qaeda-affiliated Khorasan Group, who were said to have been planning an ‘imminent attack’ on a Western target.
News of the airstrikes comes as ISIS’ highly-organized press office released a second propaganda video appearing to feature captured British hostage John Cantlie.
The journalist – wearing a Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuit – is filmed questioning America’s preparation for attacks on ISIS, and compares the ‘unwinnable’ conflict to the Vietnam War.
Air strikes were launched from land bases in the Middle East, while the F18s were launched from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, which is in the Persian Gulf.
Tomahawks were fired from the USS Arleigh Burke, a guided missile destroyer in the Red Sea.
The first wave of strikes lasted for 90 minutes and one video on social media showed blasts across Raqqa – the de facto capital of the Islamic state.
Among the targets which reports from social media claimed had been hit were the house of the governor of Raqqa, the national hospital and the Equestrian Club.
One account said at least 20 of the militant group’s fighters had been killed in the strikes, with other sources saying ‘dozens’ were dead.
Separate ISIS targets were hit in Deir al-Zor province in the north of Syria, where the terrorist group has also gained vast swaths of territory.
‘We wanted to make sure that ISIL knew they have no safe haven, and we certainly achieved that,’ Army General. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with American reporters. ISIL is an alternate acronym for ISIS commonly used by U.S. officials.
America said five Arab nations either participated in the airstrikes or provided unspecified support. They were Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.