— The Erimtan Angle —

Helen Cooper and Eric Schmitt write in the New York Times that the “United States and allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday [, 23 September 2014], unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border. American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State. American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region. The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign. Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria”. Significantly, “Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, American officials said, although the Arab governments were not expected to announce their participation until later Tuesday [, 23 September 2014]. The new coalition’s makeup is significant because the United States was able to recruit Sunni governments to take action against the Sunni militants of the Islamic State. The operation also unites the squabbling states of the Persian Gulf. The strikes came less than two weeks after Mr. Obama announced in an address to the nation that he was authorizing an expansion of the military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS”.[1]

Cooper and Schmitt continue that “the salvo on Tuesday [, 23 September] in Syria was the beginning of what was expected to be a sustained, hourslong bombardment at targets in the militant headquarters in Raqqa and on the border. The strikes began after years of debate within the Obama administration about whether the United States should intervene militarily or should avoid another entanglement in a complex war in the Middle East. But the Islamic State controls a broad swath of land across both Iraq and Syria”.[ii] President Obama’s cautious consideration of all the options available has now led to a more direct engagement, but still apparently lacking the boots on the ground deemed necessary by so many. In the NYT, Cooper and Schmitt add that the “strikes in Syria occurred without the approval of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose government, unlike Iraq, did not ask the United States for help against the Sunni militant group. Mr. Obama has repeatedly called on Mr. Assad to step down because of chemical weapons attacks and violence against his own people, and defense officials said Mr. Assad had not been told in advance of the strikes. But administration officials acknowledge that American efforts to roll back the Sunni militant group in Syria cannot help but aid Mr. Assad, whose government is also a target of the Islamic State. The United Arab Emirates announced three weeks ago that it was willing to participate in the campaign against the Islamic State, and administration officials have also said they expect the Iraqi military to take part in strikes both in Iraq and Syria. If both nations are in fact participants, the strikes on Tuesday [, 22 September] could mark a rare instance when the Shiite-dominated Iraqi military has cooperated in a military operation with its Sunni Arab neighbors”.[3]

As such, a Syrian Twitter user named Abdulkader Hariri “is believed to have broken news of US air strikes in Syria 30 minutes before the Pentagon confirmed the military had launched attacks on the Isis stronghold of Raqqa alongside other countries”.[4] In the Independent, Heather Saul comments that the “air strikes are a major escalation of the US military response to Isis and come after President Barack Obama stressed it would not coordinate with the government of President Bashar al-Assad in any way in its fight against the group”.[5]

 

[1] Helen Cooper and Eric Schmitt, “Airstrikes by U.S. and Allies Hit ISIS Targets in Syria” The New York Times (22 September 2014). http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/world/middleeast/us-and-allies-hit-isis-targets-in-syria.html?emc=edit_na_20140922&nlid=68990308&_r=0.

[2] Helen Cooper and Eric Schmitt, “Airstrikes by U.S. and Allies Hit ISIS Targets in Syria”.

[3] Helen Cooper and Eric Schmitt, “Airstrikes by U.S. and Allies Hit ISIS Targets in Syria”.

[4] Heather Saul, “Syria air strike: Twitter user Abdulkader Hariri live tweets US Islamic State attack ‘before Pentagon breaks news'” The Independent (23 September 2014). http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/twitter-user-live-tweets-attack-before-pentagon-breaks-news-9749973.html.

[5] Heather Saul, “Syria air strike: Twitter user Abdulkader Hariri live tweets US Islamic State attack”.

Comments on: "Air Strikes against the IS: The War against the Caliphal Army is On!!!" (4)

  1. Reblogged this on The Fifth Column and commented:
    It’s on…

  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    …. and so it starts! Another “campaign”. Sad …. ” unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs”.
    What will be the outcome? SMH ….

  3. Ugh…I’m really worried about us getting into this. The Pentagon saying we should expect to be involved for “years”….

  4. […] Source: Air Strikes against the IS: The War against the Caliphal Army is On!!! […]

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