Syria air strikes: The countries supporting US air strikes against Isis

Pentagon released a statement early this morning confirming nations who had participated

Rose Troup Buchanan
Tuesday 23 September 2014 13:57 BST
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Strikes were carried out by manned air force and navy aircraft (File photo)
Strikes were carried out by manned air force and navy aircraft (File photo) (AP)

American officials announced the first wave of strikes against Isis had taken place last night in cooperation with several gulf nations.

In a statement, a Pentagon official said Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates undertook “military action” using a mix of “fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to conduct 14 strikes against ISIL targets.”

The statement claimed the strikes had killed an unspecified number of Isis fighters, destroying or damaging: “training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles,” in the region of Raqqa, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal.

The air strikes, the first undertaken by Gulf States and US forces together, were launched from the American USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating in international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. The US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations were also involved.

The statement finished: “Going forward, 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.”

The countries confirmed are all on a list of nations which met in Paris earlier this month to discuss possible military action against the Sunni militants.

Analysts have noted many of the countries supporting the US-led strikes have Sunni majorities.

Although the US and allies – the United Kingdom included – have ruled out working with President Assad, the Syrian government was informed via its UN envoy of the strikes.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said of the action: "Our position in Iraq and Syria is the same. Discussions are ongoing, no decision has been taken to our involvement."

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