Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are thought to have joined America in overnight strikes
An Islamic State fighter has vowed retribution for US-led air strikes against the group, after the attack launched with Arab allies killed dozens of militants overnight.
“These attacks will be answered”, the Isis militant told the Reuters news agency, while blaming the “sons of Saloul” – a derogatory term for Saudi Arabia’s ruling family – for allowing the strikes to take place.
The Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from ships in the region during the strikes, most of which are reported to have hit the Isis stronghold Raqqa overnight.
In a statement, the US military said it had “destroyed or damaged multiple (Isis) targets” around the cities of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, Hasakah and the border town of Albu Kamal.
Britain was not involved in the strikes but the Ministry of Defence (Mod) said discussions on whether to join the strikes in Syria are “ongoing” and “no decision has been taken to our involvement”.
The Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK supports the air strikes and will be holding talks at the United Nations over the next few days to discuss what the UK can do to tackle Isis.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry claimed the US informed Damascus before its military and other countries launched the first air strikes.
Syrian state television reported on Tuesday that Washington informed Syria’s United Nations envoy before the attacks began, quoting Syria’s Foreign Ministry as the source. However, it did not formally consent to them taking place in its territory.
A statement from the Ministry claimed that: “the American side informed Syria’s permanent envoy to the UN that strikes will be launched against the Daesh (an Arabic name for Isis) organisation in Raqqa”.
The US says Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are involved in the air strikes – although only Jordan has directly confirmed its involvement.
The US military are also understood to have targeted a second al-Qaeda-linked militant group – the Khorasan Group – to disrupt the threat of “imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests”.
A statement by the Pentagon said: “Separately, the US has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the US and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qaeda 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 US assets.”
via The Independent