US launches second round of airstrikes against ISIS

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American warplanes launched airstrikes at ISIS targets inside Syria for a second day Tuesday, a U.S. official said.

American warplanes launched airstrikes at ISIS targets inside Syria for a second day Tuesday, a U.S. official said. The pair of daylight raids spotted and then destroyed a couple of armed ISIS vehicles.

Meantime, President Barack Obama said the airstrikes show that "this is not America's fight alone," and he thanked five Arab nations for their help.

"America's proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these nations on behalf of our common security," Mr. Obama said.

The Arab nations that helped with the airstrikes include Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. said the strikes on Monday took out ISIS strongholds, killing some ISIS fighters and taking out training facilities, supply depots and control and command centers. No individual ISIS leaders were specifically targeted.

The Pentagon declared the power assault by land and sea very successful.

"Last night's strikes are the beginning of a credible and sustainable campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville said.

Two U.S. Navy vessels fired 47 Tomahawk missiles as fighter jets and bombers fired and dropped 200 bombs and missiles. The strikes hit multiple locations, including targets around the Syrian city of Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold and the area where U.S. officials believe ISIS fighters executed American and British hostages.

The president says the joint fight against the Islamic State will take time but is vital to the security of the United States, the Mideast and the world.

There was no coordination with the Syrian government, and officials were clear that the U.S. did not request permission or coordinate actions with President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The Obama administration says it warned Syria not to engage U.S. aircraft.

Mr. Obama touted the bipartisan support he gathered for the airstrikes.

"America is always stronger when we stand united," Mr. Obama said.



ISIS wasn't the only target; one-third of the airstrikes were aimed at a little known al Qaeda-affiliated terror group known as the Khorasan Group. U.S. officials say the Khorasan Group is a network of about 50 al Qaeda veterans working out of Syria to develop external attacks.

Many of the seasoned fighters were close to Osama bin Laden. The group could be more of an imminent threat to the U.S. than ISIS.

Officials said the group was building bombs undetectable to the latest airport screening techniques.

"They were planning to use devices or some sort of methodology of attack that was literally, in the words of some, the scariest thing they've ever seen," Retired Lt. Col. Hal Kempfer of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve said.

Among their targets were passenger jets bound for the U.S., using Western recruits posing as tourists to carry the bombs onboard.

"We've been watching this group closely for some time, and we believe the Khorasan Group was nearing the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland," Mayville said. "We know that the Khorasan group has attempted to recruit Westerners to serve as operatives or to infiltrate back into their homelands."

Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby said the airstrikes aimed at the dangerous group were believed to be successful.

"We believe that the individuals that were plotting and planning it have been eliminated and we're going to continue... to assess the effectiveness of our strikes going through today," Kirby said.

It turns out Khorasan was the group causing security concerns at international airports in July, and causing fears about explosives being concealed in toothpaste tubes in February.

Last week, Congress authorized $500 million to arm and train Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS.

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI issued a joint bulletin warning Tuesday about the impact the airstrikes in Syria could have in the U.S. The bulletin says the strikes may embolden angry lone wolf type terrorist sympathizers living inside our country.

"We expect some type of a backlash from what's occurring in Syria and Iraq right now," said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing, commanding officer of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau.

Downing says officers in Los Angeles plan to step up security.

"There's such a thing as terrorism fatigue, but we do have to keep an attention cycle at an adequate level, and there are periods of times when we need to surge and I think this is one of those times," Downing said.

The bulletin encouraged American citizens who see something suspicious to immediately report it to authorities.

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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