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Obama: 'We will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists'

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Posted at 8:07 AM, Sep 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-23 10:22:29-04

The United States and 5 Arab nation allies bombed ISIS targets in Syria Tuesday.

Speaking Tuesday morning, President Barack Obama said that over 40 nations have offered to help confront the terrorist targets, take out threats, train opposition fighters, and stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region.

The attacks Tuesday were supported by 5 U.S. allies in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

The U.S. also carried out attacks against The Khorasan Group in Aleppo, Syria. Of The Khorasan Group, Obama said "we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people."

The strikes caused extensive damage to militant positions on the ground and left an unknown number of casualties, according to initial reports emerging Tuesday.

According to the Pentagon, the airstrikes 'destroyed or damaged' ISIS targets.

The assault marked the expansion of the U.S.-led air campaign from Iraq to neighboring Syria, which is a significant escalation of the conflict.

Several areas of northern Syria were targeted, from close to Aleppo to the Iraqi border, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command. 

A senior U.S. official told CNN the operation began with a flurry of Tomahawk missiles launched from the sea, and then continued with attacks from bombers and fighter aircraft.

The United States also took action -- on its own -- against another terrorist organization, the Khorasan Group, the military said. That group presented an "imminent" threat to the West, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

The goal of the strikes is to impair ISIS' ability to train and supply its militants.

A Syrian man, Abdulkader Hariri, live-tweeted last night's airstrikes, beginning about 9 p.m. EDT. He lives in Raqqah, Syria. Read his account of the strikes here. 

Information from CNN and The Los Angeles Times was used in this report.