MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - The United States briefed the Syrian envoy to the UN before it conducted the most recent airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, said the Syrian foreign minister on Tuesday, as reported by the AP.
“The American side informed Syria's permanent envoy to the UN that strikes will be launched against the Daesh terrorist organization in Raqqa," the ministry said in a statement.
Daesh is the Arabic name of IS. It is used by the Syrian government and several other countries to denote the terrorist group without giving it de facto “State” status.
The news comes on the heels of American airstrikes conducted around the city and province of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the terrorist group. According to Fox News, the airstrikes targeted about 20 IS facilities, including training sites and arms depots. The United States reportedly used B-1 bombers, F-16 and F-18 fighters, MQ-1 Predator drones and Tomahawk missiles fired from the USS Arleigh Burke destroyer, deployed in the Red Sea.
According to US reports, the airstrikes were conducted around 4:30 a.m. Moscow time. The strikes were conducted by a joint coalition of countries: the US, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control.
Washington has been involved in fighting against the IS since August, when the insurgents' advance on northern Iraq triggered airstrikes on their positions. In September, US President Barack Obama unveiled a strategy of fighting the terrorist organization, which involves the establishment of a broad multinational coalition. He also underscored the possibility of airstrikes on Syrian territory. Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said anti-IS airstrikes in Syria should not be conducted without the consent of Syrian authorities.