The Syrian foreign ministry in a statement on Tuesday announced that Washington had informed Damascus of its plans to attack the positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria, but meantime stressed that any anti-ISIL attack should take place under Syria’s national sovereignty and international rules.
The Syrian foreign ministry announced on Tuesday that the American side had informed its Permanent Envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari of impending strikes on the ISIL terrorist organization in Raqqa.
Meantime, the Syrian foreign ministry said that Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem had received a letter in the same regard from his US counterpart John Kerry through Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari.
Fighting terrorism should take place with the full protection of innocent civilians under Syria’s national sovereignty and according to international charters, the statement said.
The foreign ministry statement reiterated that the country will not halt its war against terrorist groups, saying that Damascus will continue to fight against the ISIL in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur and will have direct cooperation with affected countries, specially Iraq.
It underlined continued cooperation with Iraq at the highest levels to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 2170.
The statement noted that Damascus will cooperate with any international campaign against terrorists, no matter they are ISIL, the Al-Nusra Front or any other terrorist group.
The statement came after the US launched airstrikes on ISIL terrorist group’s targets in Raqqa late on Monday.
The US and Arab warplanes targeted the ISIL positions in Eastern Syria early Tuesday, opening a new front in the fight against the terrorist group, US defense officials announced today.
Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the bombing raids, US media reported.
“I can confirm that the US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
The decision to conduct the air strikes was undertaken on Monday by the head of US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, “under authorization granted him by the commander in chief”, Kirby said.
“We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate.”
The strikes focused on ISIL positions in Raqqa, a stronghold for the extremists, as well as targets along the Iraq-Syria border, according to a second Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
US F-22 fighter jets, America’s most sophisticated warplane, were scheduled to take part in the raids as well — the first combat mission for the costly aircraft, the second official said.
Along with “ongoing” air raids, the US military fired Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, the official said.
The US-led coalition hit ISIL targets in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur early as well, the opposition UK-based Observatory said, adding that 11 civilians have been killed in the US strikes.
Most of the targets hit were in the Deir Ezzur town of Albu Kamal on the Iraq border, the Observatory stated.
“The coalition carried out 22 air and missile strikes against the town of Albu Kamal,” it noted.
A senior White House official said that Obama was “being updated on the operation” in Syria.
US media said the president had spoken to Congressional leaders about the strikes.
The wave of strikes came less than two weeks after Obama warned that he had approved an expansion of the campaign against the terrorist group to include action in Syria.
The air strikes in Syria came as Kurdish militia fought to defend a key border town in Northern Syria, after 130,000 terrified residents fled to Turkey to escape an ISIL terrorist advance.
Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama had announced the formation of an international coalition to fight the ISIL militants and authorized US airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria, while continuing airstrikes in Iraq, which the United States began in August.
The Takfiri terrorists currently control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
Also today, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a phone conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said that airstrikes against the ISIL terrorist group targets in Syria should not be conducted without the consent of the Syrian government.
Vladimir Putin and Ban Ki-moon exchanged opinions on efforts of the international community joined against the ISIL terrorist group. Russian side emphasized, that airstrikes against the ISIL terrorists’ bases, located on the territory of Syria, “should not be conducted without the consent of Syrian government”, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.