VIDEO-New U.S., coalition air strikes hit Iraq, Syria

Doug Stanglin and Ray Locker, USA TODAY11 a.m. EDT September 24, 2014

U.S. intelligence officials say the airstrikes in Syria are just beginning and that it could take years before Islamic State fighters are defeated. VPC

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00:02 US led air strikes and Syria continue in what is00:05 likely to be eight years long campaign to rid the war00:08 torn country. Of al-Qaeda linked terrorists and Islamic state fighters. The00:13 Department of Defense released videos of strikes Tuesday on I --00:16 compounds and storage facilities. According to military leaders bombing runs like00:21 this will continue into the foreseeable future. President Obama cautioned the00:25 leaders of the five Arab nations that joined in the attack.00:28 That the mission won't be quick or easy. He sat down00:32 with them while in New York the United Nations General Assembly.00:35 But diplomacy experts say the partnership is something that's been unseen00:39 since the gulf war and is a coup for the Obama00:42 administration. The strength this coalition makes it clear. To the world00:46 that this is not. America's fight alone. Above all the people00:51 and governments of the Middle East. Are rejecting -- but air00:54 strikes are just the beginning of the US strategy to fight00:57 Islamic state. Speaking at a forum on global counterterrorism. Secretary of01:01 state John -- Talked about stopping the group's recording of help01:05 from extremists in the US and other western nations we. Obviously01:09 you have to also do specific tactical things like cutting off.01:14 The visas for those who've traveled wanna come back like cutting01:18 off funding. Congress has also approved a plan to train advise01:23 any quit Syrian rebels to battled militants the overall effort will01:26 take time. There will be challenges ahead. We're under what's necessary01:31 to take the fight this terrorist group for the security country01:35 and the region and for the entire world.

People stand on the debris of a damaged home reportedly hit during U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on Sept. 23 in Kfar Derian village in the western Aleppo province, Syria.(Photo: Sami Ali, AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. and coalition aircraft hit five targets in Iraq and Syria early Wednesday as part of the continued round of airstrikes on targets connected to the militant Islamic State terrorist organization, the U.S. Central Command reported.

Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told NBC News Wednesday the White House had seen social media reports that the allied airstrikes had killed the leader of Khorasan Group terrorist organization, Muhsin al-Fadhli, although U.S. officials had not confirmed those reports.

"We can't confirm that at this stage," Rice said. "But we've seen reports on social media to that effect. We will continue to look for signs as to whether or not that's, in fact, the case."


Iraqi President: Stopping ISIL a global duty

The Pentagon could not confirm if al-Fadhli had been killed, said a military official on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

One strike damaged eight vehicles linked to Islamic State militants northwest of Al Qa'im Syria, and four were carried out in Iraq, Central Command reported.

"U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria, using a mix of attack, bomber and fighter aircraft to conduct five airstrikes Tuesday and today," the statement says.

"Two air strikes west of Baghdad destroyed two ISIL armed vehicles and a weapons cache. Two airstrikes southeast of Irbil destroyed ISIL fighting positions. A fifth airstrike damaged eight ISIL vehicles in Syria northwest of Al Qa'im. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely."

ISIL is an alternative reference the extremist group known as Islamic State or Islamic State in Syria (ISIS).

The BBC quotes Syrian activists as reporting strikes around the the Kurdish town of Kobane, close to the border with Turkey. The town has been besieged by IS fighters for several days.

Witnesses tell the BBC that they saw two military aircraft approaching from Turkey, but Turkish officials denied its airspace or bases had been used in the attack.


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Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook

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