US Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets in Syria

Pentagon: About 20 Targets Hit in Attacks

The American war on ISIS has expanded into Syria tonight, with Pentagon officials issuing a brief statement claiming credit for a round of about 20 targets hit in northeastern Syria this evening.

The attacks involved both the use of US bombers, including F-22 and B1s, fighter warplanes including F-16s, F-15s, and F/A-18s. They’ve also fired Tomahawk cruise missiles from the USS Arleigh Burke in the Red Sea. Details of what was hit are not clear so far, though some reports say that an ISIS headquarters was among the targets.

The Pentagon insisted it wouldn’t provide addition details about the “ongoing operations,” but plenty of information continued to emerge in the hours that followed the strike.

Indications are that the Tomahawk cruise missiles struck first, and that the US strikes centered around attacks on buildings, and people on the scene reported the sky was “full of drones” over the ISIS capital of Raqqa.

The strikes were reportedly joined by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Each has expressed support for regime change against the Syrian government in the past.

President Obama announced his intention to expand the war into Syria almost two weeks ago, though officials at the time said the order hadn’t actually been issued yet.

Attacks in Syria are expected to be more complicated than the strikes in Iraq, with even less intelligence about where ISIS forces are, and no official coordination with the Syrian government. The drones reported so far appear to be surveillance drones, and there has been no confirmation of drone strikes involved in the attacks.

The Syrian government had initially expressed opposition to unilateral US strikes on their territory, even if it is territory seized by ISIS. So far there has been no statement issued by Syria on the attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.