MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - The US navy has carried out the first strike at the Islamic State radical group by Baghdad, NBC television channel reported citing a source at the US Defense Ministry.
The attack southwest of the Iraqi capital was meant to support the national security forces and marked the beginning of enhanced measures against the IS militants in Iraq, which aim "to degrade and ultimately destroy" the IS extremists, as US President Barack Obama said in his recent address.
Previous airstrikes were defensive and protected important sites, while Monday's airstrike was offensive, the defense official said, according to NBC.
Obama has previously said that the United States did not intend to return its army to Iraq and would not participate in attacks on the ground. The US president did not, however, exclude the possibility of airstrikes at IS in Syria, which has been war-torn since 2011.
The Islamic State (IS) militant group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012 and started launching attacks in northern and western Iraq in June, 2014. IS militants have seized vast areas in both countries and have proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on all the territories under its control.