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E.g., 9/23/2014
E.g., 9/23/2014
In this image made from video released by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, missiles bound for Syrian Islamic State group targets are launched off of a U.S. Navy ship.

U.S. air campaign begins overnight in Syria

09/23/14 08:01AM

When President Obama spoke two weeks ago about his counter-terrorism strategy towards the Islamic State, he specifically talked about using force to target ISIS "in Syria, as well as Iraq." It was at this point that we knew it was only a matter of time before the U.S. airstrikes began inside Syria.
 
Last night, we learned that this phase of the campaign is now underway.
The United States and a broad coalition of Arab partners launched a predawn attack on Islamist fighters in Syria, the Pentagon announced Monday, using bombers and cruise missiles in the first such strike on the Middle Eastern country that has been riven for two years by a catastrophic civil war.
 
The strikes -- part of a U.S. plan to hit up to 20 targets in and around Raqqa, Syria, where the militants have their headquarters -- mark a major escalation in the American military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which previously had been limited to Iraq.
As NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel noted last night, the timing of the offensive is important: the airstrikes coincide with the United Nations General Assembly, at which world leaders will consider how best to address the ISIS threat.
 
There are, of course, more questions than answers, and if you missed Rachel's segment at midnight (ET), it fleshed out many of the key aspects of the debate. For example, are the U.S. airstrikes likely to have the intended effect?
 
Thus far, the air campaign against ISIS targets in Iraq has been constant for six weeks, but the offensive has "scarcely budged the Sunni extremists." Whether a related campaign in Syria is determinative remains an open question.
 
Also, to what extent is the United States acting as part of a coalition?

Strikes on Khorasan Group and other headlines

09/23/14 07:48AM

Air strikes in Syria targeted Khorasan Group as well as ISIS. (NBC News)

Israel says it shot down a Syrian fighter jet. (NY Times)

Jeb Bush and Sarah Palin will campaign for Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas. (Wichita Eagle)

Biden to Hispanics: Obama will act on immigration. (AP)

Another experimental ebola drug gets nod from the FDA. (Wall Street Journal)

Google to cut ties with ALEC for "literally lying" about climate change. (Talking Points Memo)

Politico names Chelsea Clinton's baby for her. (Politico)

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World's eyes on ISIS, Syria after airstrikes

World's eyes on ISIS, Syria after airstrikes

09/23/14 01:26AM

Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC News foreign correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about the international political dynamics at play in the U.S. fight against ISIS and how Syria is likely to react to bombings by U.S. partners within its borders. watch

US, partners rip ISIS on new Syrian front

US, partners rip ISIS on new Syrian front

09/23/14 01:12AM

Laith Alkhouri of Flashpoint Global Partners, talks with Rachel Maddow about global recruitment efforts by ISIS and how the new airstrikes by U.S. partners inside Syria are likely to affect the terror organization. watch

Obama times strikes to world gathering at UN

Obama times strikes to world gathering at UN

09/23/14 01:11AM

Anne Gearan, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about the timing of U.S. coalition airstrikes inside Syria against ISIS targets as world leaders, President Obama included, meet at the UN in New York City. watch

Syria says US gave notice of airstrikes

Syria says US gave notice of airstrikes

09/23/14 01:09AM

Spencer Ackerman, U.S. national security editor at The Guardian, talks with Rachel Maddow about new reports that Syria was informed by the U.S. before airstrikes against ISIS targets, and how big the operation appears to be by the U.S. and its partners. watch

White House set stage anti-ISIS hits in Syria

White House set stage anti-ISIS hits in Syria

09/22/14 10:18PM

Chris Jansing, NBC News senior White House correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the White House set the stage for new bombings against ISIS targets in Syria and what this expansion means for increased U.S. personnel in the region. watch

US attacks ISIS at Syria root

US attacks ISIS at Syria root

09/22/14 10:04PM

Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent, reports on the details of a new bombing campaign by the U.S. and partners of ISIS targets in Syria, and how those airstrikes are likely to be received by Syria. watch

US bombs Syria for ISIS targets

US bombs Syria for ISIS targets

09/22/14 09:47PM

Rachel Maddow reports breaking news that U.S. military aircraft have commenced bombing in Syria. Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, joins to discuss the international ramifications and the pressure on Arab partners to get involved. watch

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