The United States launches airstrikes in Syria, Obama says figh - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

The United States launches airstrikes in Syria, Obama says fight will take time

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone."

Obama says the joint fight against the Islamic State will take time but is vital to the security of the United States, the Mideast and the world.

The U.S.-Arab airstrikes Monday night targeted the group's headquarters in eastern Syria.

Obama say the U.S. is "proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder" with Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates in conducting the strikes.

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ORIGINAL POST: Officials say the United States and five Arab countries have launched an aerial offensive in Syria against Islamic State targets.

The airstrikes began about 8:30 p.m. EDT on Monday and are being conducted by the U.S., Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.  

The first wave of strikes finished about 90 minutes later. 

Additional attacks are expected.

 The assault is said to involve a mix of manned aircraft -- fighter jets and bombers -- plus Tomahawk cruise missiles.  Officials have previously said that likely targets could include command and control centers, re-supply facilities, training camps and other key logistical sites. Military leaders have said about two-thirds of the estimated 31,000 Islamic State militants are in Syria. The group controls territory there and in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said no details are available because the mission is ongoing. He did say the military made the decision early Monday to strike and that President Barack Obama is being updated. Obama vowed in a speech earlier this month to go after Islamic State wherever it operates.

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