The United States and its Arab allies had entered Syrian airspace for the first time since 2011, bombing fourteen Islamic State targets in the area. US Rear Admiral John Kirby, Spokesperson for the Pentagon, said that several IS structures, including training camps, munitions and explosives manufacturing centre, command centres and vehicle bays have been destroyed.
Rear Admiral Kirby also confirmed destroying several infrastructures of an al-Qaeda splinter group called the Khorasan, composed of al-Qaeda veterans.
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Jordan have all participated in the airstrikes. The UAE, a close ally of the United States, had also played a role as the home base of the French Rafale Fighters Paris has has used to destroy several IS structures in Northern Iraq.
All four Arab countries are opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but they have also feared the fighters, who were once part of the Syrian opposition, that they have indirectly sponsored and trained.
Since August 8, the United States had launched 190 air strikes this year. US President Barack Obama said that “Anyone who threatens the United States and will do America harm will find no safe haven in any part of the world.”
Turkey, a close Middle East ally of the United States, had also confirmed it would provide military or logistical backing. Turkey was also alarmed after a Kurdish border town came into attack from the extremist group.
With no means to attack the United States’ air strikes that had damaged their military operations heavily, the Islamic State or IS takes to information warfare in the internet to terrorise the West’s sentiments against the actions of the United States. The IS had released an unverified video showing the beheading of another American freelance journalist Steven Joel Sotloff.
US intelligence agencies are still investigating if the video is authentic. Meanwhile, leaders of France and Britain had condemned the act to “savage barbarism” that truly shows IS must be stopped at all costs.
Political analysts said that Sotloff’s beheading is an important reference as the IS are changing tactics. By terrorising people in a democratic society who have the power to stop their government’s actions forcefully, they could discourage the US air strikes they could not battle from the ground.
The IS had threatened to kill a British hostage named David Haines if the US continued with its airstrikes. Meanwhile, Britain, while using supply and food airdrops for Iraq and Kurdish ground forces, is yet to participate in a military airstrike. British Prime Minister David Cameron is in talks with the family of the victim and his security cabinet to assess the situation, according to an anonymous senior official.
Earlier after the beheading of James Foley, another American freelance journalist, Sotloff’s mother Shirley Sotloff had appealed to Islamic State Caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to release her son.