U.S. military aircraft launched the first strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Friday morning, the Pentagon announced, hours after President Barack Obama opened the door to military action to protect the Kurdish-controlled city of Erbil from the advancing Islamic militant group.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement Friday that “two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil.” According to Kirby, ISIS was using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces near Erbil, the site of a U.S. consulate and where dozens of American military advisers are stationed. Kirby added that the decision to strike was made by a U.S. Central Command commander pursuant with Obama’s authorization to strike if necessary to protect Erbil.
President Barack Obama announced late Thursday he had authorized strikes to protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq in addition to airdrop missions…
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