US fighter jets on Friday launched the first strikes against Islamic State targets from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea since the start of the two-year campaign against the militant group, the US Navy said.
The jets flew from the USS Harry S. Truman after the ship moved into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, marking the first air strikes conducted by a carrier group in that region since the Iraq war began in 2003, Navy officials said.
Previous strikes were launched solely by US and allied pilots from carriers in the Gulf or from land bases in Bahrain, Turkey, and other countries. The Navy said the raids targeted Iraq and Syria, but gave no details on how many and what type of targets was hit.
The United States is increasingly concerned about Russia’s growing military presence in the region, and the air strikes also send a message to Turkey that the US military has other ways to conduct its air war over Syria than from the Turkish air base at Incirlik. (Reuters)