World Bulletin/News Desk
Saudi Arabia's air force participated in U.S.-led bombing strikes against ISIL insurgents in Syria, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
"An official source revealed that Saudi air forces took part in military operations in Syria against the ISIL group, and to support the moderate Syrian opposition, within an international coalition, to combat terrorism..., and to support the fraternal Syrian people in returning security, unity and development to this devastated country," SPA said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal Al Saud told SPA that the war against "terrorist" organisations would take years and require hard work and commitment from all parties.
"Faced with these dangerous facts, today we are required to take serious policy decisions to confront this vicious attack with full force. We need to move with assertive steps and fast."
SPA gave no details about the Saudi role in the air strikes.
Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had already acknowledged participating in the bombing runs against ISIL and other fighters in eastern Syria. Qatar said it had a supporting role.
In recent decades the Saudi armed forces had engaged in combat only within their own borders and had not sent warplanes on sorties further afield.
Saudi Arabia hosted a conference of Arab countries plus Turkey and the United States earlier this month to help forge a regional coalition against ISIL and pledged to support efforts to combat it.
A Gulf security source familiar with the air strikes said the Saudis had sent four F-16 fighter jets, the UAE contributed four warplanes, Bahrain two and Qatar a Mirage jet which did not drop any bombs or take an "active part" in the attack.
The source said U.S. fighter jets took off from the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier based in the Gulf and U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the Red Sea.Last Mod: 23 Eylül 2014, 22:54