US begins air strikes against Islamic State in Syria

Key points

  • The US has begun air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) militant group in what is expected to be a lengthy campaign
  • IS training compounds, command and control facilities, vehicles and storage sites were reportedly destroyed or damaged
  • Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "participated in or supported" the strikes, the Pentagon says
  • IS has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq and the US has already launched 190 air strikes in Iraq since August
  • Some 130,000 Syrian refugees have crossed into Turkey in recent days, fearing attacks from IS
  • All times BST (GMT+1).

Live text

Reporting:

  • Alison Daye 
  • Tom Geoghegan 
  • Joanna Jolly 
  • Helier Cheung 
  • Kerry Alexandra 
  • Yaroslav Lukov 

Last updated 23 September 2014

STANDARD 03:01

Hello and welcome to the BBC's live coverage as news emerges that the US and other nations have begun air strikes inside Syria against the jihadist group Islamic State.

STANDARD 03:03

The Pentagon has announced that the US military "and partner nation forces" are undertaking military action in Syria.

STANDARD 03:06

After weeks of air strikes against IS in Iraq, this is the first time the US has launched operations inside Syria against Islamic State (IS) targets.

STANDARD 03:12

The announcement came in a statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby: "I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL [Islamic State] terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."

STANDARD 03:13

More from Adm John Kirby: "Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time... We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate."

STANDARD 03:23

The BBC has learned that Arab nations are among those involved in the air strikes in Syria, but there is not yet confirmation which states are involved.

TWEET

Molly Hunter, ABC News journalist

tweets: Diplo source tells @JonKarl: Arab nations involved in tonight's #Syria airstrikes include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE. #ISIS

STANDARD

Barbara Plett-Usher, BBC State Department Correspondent

Arab nations are involved in the air strikes. Which ones and in what capacity they are involved has not been spelled out but we understand this will be made clear in the coming hours.

STANDARD 03:30

The UK Ministry of Defence tells the BBC the UK "has not committed anything yet. Conversations are ongoing... We have not ruled ourselves out."

TWEET

Paul Danahar, BBC Washington Bureau Chief

tweets: Those partner Arab nations who joined US in air strikes likely to include UAE maybe Saudi & Qatar. Their contributions tho entirely symbolic