Pentagon: U.S. and Arab partners launch airstrikes in Syria

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say the United States and five Arab countries have launched an aerial offensive in Syria against Islamic State targets.

The airstrikes began about 8:30 p.m. EDT and are being conducted by the U.S., Bahrain, Qatar (GUH'-tur), Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. The first wave of strikes finished about 90 minutes later. Additional attacks are expected.

The assault is said to involve a mix of manned aircraft — fighter jets and bombers — plus Tomahawk cruise missiles. Officials have previously said that likely targets could include command and control centers, re-supply facilities, training camps and other key logistical sites. Military leaders have said about two-thirds of the estimated 31,000 Islamic State militants are in Syria. The group controls territory there and in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said no details are available because the mission is ongoing. He did say the military made the decision early Monday to strike and that President Barack Obama is being updated. Obama vowed in a speech earlier this month to go after Islamic State wherever it operates.

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