US takes fight against Islamic State to Syria with Tomahawk missiles

Acting on its strategy charted out by US President Barack Obama to rein in the Islamic State in Syria, the US military in collaboration with its anti-IS partners has targeted the extremists spots in the civil war-struck country, said the Pentagon.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Sep 25, 2014, 14:53 PM IST
US takes fight against Islamic State to Syria with Tomahawk missiles

Washington: Acting on the strategy charted out by US President Barack Obama to rein in the Islamic State in Syria, the US military in collaboration with its anti-IS partners has targeted the extremists spots in the civil war-struck country, said the Pentagon.

The anti-IS coalition partners including Arab states joined US in launching targeted strikes against Islamic State in Syria, aiming to destroy their weapons and buildings. The air strikes were also carried out against al Qaeda-linked terror outfits. In response, the IS extremists have vowed retribution, reported the SITE intel group.

The military action against the Islamic State is being undertaken by the US and its partner nation forces “using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the US and its anti-IS allies have carried out over 20 strikes against Islamic State group (IS) targets in Syria so far and there are "confirmed reports of human losses in IS".

According to the British-based NGO, most of the IS extremists evacuated their headquarters ahead of the strikes. However, some 50 al-Nusra terrorists were reported killed in US-led air strikes, Reuters cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

"Warplanes of the International Coalition against IS went in no less than 20 air strikes around the IS HQs and checkpoints in al-Raqqa city and both of its western and northern countrysides, around areas in Tal Abyad, al-Tabaqa, and Ein Essa, targeted the province building which is a bastion of the IS," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights wrote on its Facebook page.

The warplanes will also target other fighting groups such as "Jabhat al-Nusra", added the group.

The US is being joined by nations like Saudi, UAE, Jordan and Bahrain in carrying out the strikes against the Islamic State and the strikes are aimed at the extremists' stronghold of Raqqa as well as near the Iraq border, said a Reuters report citing a US official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity.

The US strikes are targeting the IS weapons' supplies and facilities constructed by the extremists, added the Reuters report.

The US air strikes in Syria also come after the Islamic State urged its supporters to attack the civilians of those countries which are a part of the US-led anti-IS coalition.

In a message posted online in various languages, Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called on the extremists to kill the citizens of Western countries like that of US, France, Canada, Australia and also those from the countries belonging to the anti-jihadist coalition.

The Islamic State's murderous march has pushed close to the Turkish border forcing an unabated stream of refugees crossing the border to take shelter in Turkey.

Turkey opened its frontiers on Friday after Kurdish civilians were forced to flee the IS onslaught in the Syrian border town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish.

The town of Kobani , was earlier considered safer throughout the Syria conflict. But with the IS closing in on the town, tens of thousands, including large numbers of women, children and elderly, had to cross the border in Turkey's Sanliurfa province, the UNHRC said in a press release.

Syrian Kurd fighters are engaged in a fierce battle with the extremists near Kobani, where the IS are reported to have unleashed a heinous terror trail, setting homes ablaze, carrying out be headings, stonings and torture.