WASHINGTON — Bombing attacks against Islamic State militants started on Monday, with, according to the Pentagon’s Central Command in Tampa, the U.S. partnering with five Arab nations: the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Also revealed on Tuesday: The U.S. thwarted an ” imminent attack” against the U.S. and “Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qaida veterans — sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group — who have established a safe haven in Syria.”
State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said in a statement released Monday morning that the U.S. told Syria the strikes were about to happen but “we did not request the regime’s permission.”
Syria warned, not asked: “The President made clear in his speech to the nation on September 10 that the United States would not hesitate to take direct action against ISIL and terrorists inside Syria who were threatening the United States.Since that speech, we informed the Syrian regime directly of our intent to take action through our Ambassador to the United Nations (Ambassador Power) to the Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations. We warned Syria not to engage U.S. aircraft.We did not request the regime’s permission.We did not coordinate our actions with the Syrian government.We did not provide advance notification to the Syrians at a military level, or give any indication of our timing on specific targets. Secretary Kerry did not send a letter to the Syrian regime.”
From Central Command….
The aircraft: “A mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.”
Number of strikes: 14.
Where: “The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles.”
Missiles: “To conduct these strikes, the United States employed 47 TLAMs launched from USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating from international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, as well as U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.”
Meanwhile, in Iraq: “Also, in Iraq yesterday, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists, using attack aircraft to conduct four airstrikes. The airstrikes destroyed two ISIL Humvees, an ISIL armed vehicle and an ISIL fighting position southwest of Kirkuk. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely. To date, U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 194 airstrikes across Iraq against ISIL.”
Attack thwarted: In a separate action, “the United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qa’ida veterans – sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group – who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations.
“These strikes were undertaken only by U.S. assets. In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.”