US Begins Airstrikes on ISIS Forces


Published 08/08 2014 09:43AM

Updated 08/08 2014 09:48AM

The conflict in Iraq escalates.
The conflict in Iraq escalates.
The United States dropped laser-guided bombs on ISIS artillery in Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon said — the beginning of airstrikes threatened a day earlier by President Barack Obama.

The bombs, 500 pounds each, were dropped by two Navy F-18 fighter jets near Erbil, the strategically important city that serves as the Kurdish capital, and where the United States has a consulate. ISIS was using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil, the Pentagon said.

The fighter jets took off from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in the Persian Gulf. The mission marked a return to U.S. military engagement in Iraq, three years after Obama removed U.S. forces.

Obama, in a speech Thursday night from the White House, said that he was authorizing airstrikes to protect American interests in Iraq and drops of food and water for tens of thousands of refugees trapped by ISIS on a mountain in Iraq.

Read more from NBC News.

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