Syria strikes included first combat action for F-22, occurred in three waves

Posted at 11:57 AM, Sep 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-24 07:43:03-04

(CNN) UPDATE, 7:40 a.m., Sept. 24, 2014 — Coalition aircraft made one airstrike in Syria and four in Iraq overnight, a U.S. official said. The Syria strike, involving U.S. and other coalition aircraft, hit an ISIS staging area near the Iraq border, damaging eight ISIS vehicles, the official said.

The first airstrikes against ISIS and another terrorist organization known as the Khorasan Group featured the first combat action by the F-22 Raptor and occurred in three different waves.

The first wave began at 8:30 pm in Syria, officials said at a Pentagon briefing.

During first wave the Norfolk-based USS Arleigh Burke and the USS Philippine Sea launched over 40 Tomahawk missiles. The majority of the Tomahawk strikes were against Khorasan Group compounds and manufacturing workshops and training camps.

Most of these attacks happened around Aleppo, Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr. said Tuesday.

Intelligence had revealed the Khorasan Group was nearing execution of an attack in Europe or the United States.

The second wave included Air Force F-22 Raptors as well as F-16 and F-15s and launched about 30 minutes later against Northern Syria. This wave targeted ISIL headquarters, training camps, barracks and combat vehicles.

The once-beleaguered F-22 were temporarily grounded in 2011 after pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms.

The F-22 can carry six AIM-120 advanced, medium-range, air-to-air missiles or two AIM-120s and two GBU-32 joint direct-attack munitions for air-to-ground strikes, according to the Air Force Times. It also carries an internal 20mm gun and two AIM-9 Sidewinders in internal weapons bays.

The Pentagon showed photos of an ISIS command and control building struck by GPS guided munitions dropped by an F-22.

The third wave included F/A-18s from the USS George H W Bush as well as F16s and targeted ISIS training camps and combat vehicles in eastern Syria, Mayville said.

Coalition partners participated in the 2rd and 3rd waves of attacks, with the majority taking place in the third wave. Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar all participated in the strikes.

In all, 200 pieces of ordnance were dropped by coalition members, and four dozen aircraft were used, a U.S. official told CNN. About 150 weapons used were precision-guided munitions. The United States fired 47 Tomahawk missiles, eight of them against Khorasan targets.

There was no coordination with the Assad regime in Syria on the attacks.

CNN contributed to this report.