US airstrikes in Syria
An F/A-18F Super Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-213) (R) and an F/A-18C Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-15) prepare for take off onboard the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush in the Gulf Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

The US and its Arab allies have launched a series of air strikes in Syria targeting Isis positions as a new chapter of American military involvement in the war-torn nation begins.

This is the first time the Obama administration has directly waded into the complicated conflict zone in Syria, which is still under President Bashar al-Assad, against Isis. The US had informed Syria before launching the air strikes, said Damascus

"I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against [Isis] terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles," Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

"Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time."

America's Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE are believed to be involved in the Syria operation.

The cooperation of the partners of the US is intended to add credibility to Washington's air strikes as the Obama administration has been pushed into a position where it is bombing an Arab nation without the explicit approval of the government concerned.

"The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the US central command commander under authorisation granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate," said a spokesperson for the Department of Defense.

Isis has seized vast swathes of Iraq and Syria in the last several weeks and the US has conducted nearly 200 airstrikes in Iraq.

Though the exact targets of the attack were not revealed by the US authorities, media reports and social media posts suggested the Syrian city of Raqqa, an Isis stronghold, was among them.

Given the present volatile situation in Syria, the air strikes have taken place without the possibility of deployment of ground forces, which Obama had ruled out, as there are no anti-Isis forces on ground to capitalise on the air strikes to retake the territories from the militant group.