The US has resumed air strikes against positions held by militants from the Islamic State, hours after 30 countries pledged to support US plans in destroying the jihadi group.
The US military confirmed that a strike on Monday destroyed an IS position south-west of Baghdad., saying:
“The air strike south-west of Baghdad was the first taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit Isil targets as Iraqi forces go on offence, as outlined in the president’s speech last Wednesday.”
In a joint statement on Monday, foreign ministers at a Paris conference in Paris said that IS “is a threat not only to Iraq but also to the entire international community and that confronting such a threat will require a long term effort from the international community” and pledged “military assistance” to combat the group.
The Paris conference followed a recent tour of the Middle East by US Secretary of State John Kerry, during which he drummed up support for military action against IS and found support from other Middle East nations to support US President Obama’s plan to destroy the militant group.
The Islamic State is estimated to have between 20,000 – 31,500 fighters, according to CIA estimates, with many of those jihadists coming from abroad, including around 500 from the UK.
The recent execution of two US reporters appears to have hardened the American resolve to address the IS with force, and the execution of British aid worker David Haines has resulted in the UK further helping in supplying Kurdish rebels in their fight against IS.