The United States Air Force and Navy, in conjunction with Arab allies U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, has started airstrike missions against ISIS in Syria. ISIS has reportedly overtaken approximately 60 villages within the last several days and continued to gain ground.

The initial airstrikes targeted the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria. ISIS has reportedly been expecting to be attacked by the U.S. and its' allies and has promised retaliation. Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has stated any targeted airstrikes that take place in Syria will be considered "an act of aggression." Assad has not yet publicly commented on this mission against ISIS.

Sources indicate the weapons used in the aerial assault include F-18 and bomber flights and Tomahawk missiles launched from strategic locations from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. The mission is reportedly targeting roughly 20 sites that are being used by ISIS as weapon depots, training camps, and command and control centers.

President Obama, in a public announcement on September 10, indicated his plan to "degrade and destroy" ISIS includes potential airstrikes in Syria. At that time, Obama stated "I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq."

ISIS has beheaded two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff as a "message to America" and has promised further acts against the U.S. for any further acts of aggression.

Read more about ISIS here and here.

Read more about President Obama's statement here.

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Read more from The Daily Scholar here.

Photo credit: Associated Press