U.S. Navy jets in Mediterranean launch second day of raids on Islamic State targets

6 June 2016

U.S. fighter jets on Saturday launched a second day of air strikes against Islamic State targets from the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to a U.S. Navy official.

No details were immediately available about the targets of the latest combat missions.

Four strikes executed by the jets on Friday targeted a building in Syria and a cave that was hit three times, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. No strikes were directed against targets in Iraq, the official said.

The raids were the first launched from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea since the start of the two-year campaign against the militant group. They were also the first air strikes conducted by a carrier group in that region since the Iraq war began in 2003, Navy officials said.

Previous bombing raids were launched solely by U.S. and allied pilots from carriers in the Gulf or from land bases in Bahrain, Turkey and other countries.

The Navy official said Friday's strikes did not hit high-value targets, but further, more complex missions were planned in coming days. The official gave no details on the flight routes taken by the Navy jets.

The air strikes came as the Syrian army pushed into Raqqa province, home to the de facto capital of Islamic State, after a major Russian-backed offensive against the militants, and a Syrian militia advanced with U.S. support towards Manbij in the north near the Turkish border.

The actions are among the most aggressive campaigns against Islamic State since it declared its aim to rule over all Muslims from parts of Iraq and Syria two years ago.


Source : reuters.com