Marine Harriers begin striking ISIS from Arabian Gulf

Marine Harriers begin striking ISIS from Arabian Gulf
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U.S. forces are now simultaneously striking the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf for the first time, the Navy announced Thursday.  

U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers embarked on the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer began striking ISIS from the Arabian Gulf on Thursday, joining U.S. aircraft striking ISIS from the carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean Sea. 

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"Today, U.S. naval forces are striking ISIL simultaneously from both the Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf," said Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, using another acronym for ISIS. 

"These missions from the flight decks of USS Boxer, like those from the USS Harry S. Truman, demonstrate the inherent flexibility of naval forces," he said. 

The Truman, which is nearing the end of its tour, recently left the Arabian Gulf and began striking the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria from the Mediterranean. 

Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the commander of the air war against ISIS, said on May 27 that the departure had led to a temporary reduction in airstrikes, but the Navy has been eager to highlight the carrier is still conducting strike from the Mediterranean.  

The Harriers are from the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166, which is the aviation combat element of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 14th MEU is part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, which arrived in the Arabian Gulf on April 5.