Two U.S. fighter jets bombed Sunni militant forces in northern Iraq on Friday morning, launching the first major U.S. military action in the country since combat troops left three years ago.
In a statement issued Friday morning, the Pentagon said two F/A-18 Hornets dropped laser-guided bombs on artillery that had fired on Kurdish forces near Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital. Militants of the Islamic State, a breakaway Al Qaeda group, have been advancing toward the city in recent days.
The fighter jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a "mobile artillery piece," being used by the militants, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman.
The attack occurred only hours after President Obama announced he had authorized airstrikes to protect about 100 U.S. military advisors in Irbil and to halt the advance of the Islamist militants.
The Islamic State "was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Irbil, where U.S. personnel are located," Kirby said.
"As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against ISIL when they threaten our personnel and facilities," Kirby said, referring to the militant group by an acronym for another of its names, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.How much more hopey-changey can we get than that?
He did not say if the artillery had been destroyed.
An aside from the Department of Delicious Irony: we're currently launching feckless air actions against an allegedly Sunni organization. Iran's a Shia state. So, America's Finest Mercenaries are serving the horrible, hideous, unspeakable Iranians. This should not, however, make those Iranians smile. After all, that just makes them the next target. The only consistent winners are the balance sheets at Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, General Electric, and so on. Oh boy.