Syrian minister says strikes going in 'right direction'

A Syrian government minister said the government had been informed before they started and they were not hitting civilians or Syrian military targets.

Syrian minister says strikes going in 'right direction'

World Bulletin/News Desk

A Syrian government minister said U.S.-led air strikes against militants are going in the "right direction" because the government had been informed before they started and they were not hitting civilians or Syrian military targets.

"What has happened so far is proceeding in the right direction in terms of informing the Syrian government and by not targeting Syrian military installations and not targeting civilians," Ali Haidar, minister for national reconciliation, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"Notification of the Syrian government happened," he said. "Confirmation that they would not target Syrian military installations, and confirmation they would not target civilians happened."

The United States military on Wednesday confirmed it had launched five more airstrikes targeting ISIL in Syria and Iraq in the latest round of attacks on the militant group.

One strike hit Syria northwest of Al Qa'im along the border, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. Two strikes hit were west of Baghdad and two southeast of Irbil in Iraq.

The latest strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday destroyed two ISIL armed vehicles, eight other vehicles, a weapons cache and fighting positions, the statement said.

Various attack, bomber and fighter aircraft were used in the airstrikes and all aircraft were able to leave the area safely, according to the statement.

While the United States has launched nearly 200 strikes in Iraq in recent weeks, this week's campaign opens a new front in Syria and thrusts Washington into the country's 3-year-old civil war. The first strikes in Syria were carried out with help of five Arab nations.

So far, 20 airstrikes have been launched across Syria targeting ISIL, Central Command said.

U.S. officials on Tuesday had said the strikes were effective and on Wednesday Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was still completing its overnight assessment.

"Everything we said yesterday is bearing out today," he said in a CNN interview. "We do believe that the battle damage assessment that we've conducted shows that these strikes were extremely successful in terms of hitting what we were aiming at and causing the damage that we wanted to cause."

Last Mod: 24 Eylül 2014, 15:55
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