US begins airstrikes against ISIL in Syria: Pentagon
The United States and its allies have started airstrikes against the ISIL terrorist group in Syria, the Pentagon says.
“I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement issued on Monday night.
He added that the head of US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, decided to launch airstrikes inside Syria on Monday “under authorization granted [to] him by the commander in chief.â€
“We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate,” Kirby stated.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
US President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, but has ruled out US boots on the ground in a combat role. The United States has already conducted some 174 airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq since mid-August.
Last week, Congress approved Obamaâ€™s plan to train and arm the so-called moderate militants in Syria to tackle the threat of the ISIL terrorist organization.
The Pentagon plans to train and arm 5,000 militants in Syria as part of the Obama administrationâ€™s long-term strategy to confront ISIL.
In an interview with Press TV on Saturday, US journalist Don DeBar said that the ISIL terrorist group is a construct of the CIA and is serving Washingtonâ€™s interests.
â€œ[I]n my opinion, the ISIS [ISIL] is a construct of the CIA – look how they serve the aims of the United Sates; every time, they chop off a head they have another vote in Congress and more money tossed over,â€ DeBar said.