Defense

Second wave of strikes hits ISIS

More airstrikes were launched late Tuesday against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria, a Pentagon spokesman said.

“It’s an offensive campaign now,” Rear Adm. John Kirby said Wednesday morning on CNN. “We’re not going to be constrained by that border between Iraq and Syria.”

Two strikes targeted an ISIS staging area in Syria that was used to move personnel and equipment back and forth across the Iraqi border, Kirby said.

Kirby said the strikes a day earlier were successful in targeting the terrorist group’s command and control capabilities, a finance center, training camps and supply depots.

“We do believe that the battle damage assessment that we’ve conducted shows that theses strikes were extremely successful in terms of hitting what we were aiming at and causing the damage that we wanted to cause,” he said.

Kirby said he could not confirm reports that Abu Yousef al-Turki, the leader of the al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-linked terror group, was killed in earlier airstrikes.

He said there are no confirmed reports that the U.S. strikes hit any major leaders.

“The focus of the strikes in Syria over the last 24-36 hours has really been about getting at [ISIS’s] capabilities to sustain and train and regroup themselves,” Kirby said, noting that the aim was not specifically to go after high-value targets.

Before Tuesday night’s strikes, the U.S. had launched 16 strikes in Syria this week against ISIS and 194 inside Iraq since August.

— This report was updated at 8:01 a.m.

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