On September 22, 2014, American and Coalition forces hit ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State targets inside Syria. The U.S. attacked with a combination of carrier-based warplanes, cruise missiles, and B-1 Bomber strikes, and for the first time in combat, the F-22 Raptor aircraft. The main areas hit were around the city of Raqqah, which ISIS has set up as its capital city. The United States declared that the immediate objective was to degrade and destroy ISIS command and control centers, training facilities, and arms and ammunition depots.
Joining in the attack were military forces from several conservative Sunni Arab nations. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The fact that five Arab Muslim nations participated is significant in that ISIS has created a lot of propaganda highlighting their aims at fighting ‘disbelievers,’ which include Christians, Yazidis, Shiites, and other non-Sunni Muslim peoples.
In a Pentagon briefing held on September 23, 2014, Lt. General William Mayville, Jr. showed maps detailing the attacks across a broad swath of ISIS held territory in northern Syria.
The U.S. also, separate from the ISIS attacks, and separate from the bombings by Allied aircraft, hit eight targets associated with an al-Qaida cell called the Khorasan Group. While the Khorasan Group is not affiliated with ISIS, (al-Qaida and ISIS are often belligerent towards one another), the fairly small Jihadist group is considered very dangerous and is made up of al-Qaida veterans who were previously part of the core al-Qaida base in Afghanistan.
While the U.S. has been launching air attacks on ISIS fighters in Iraq since August 8, (and joined by French forces a week or so before these Syrian attacks), this is the first time U.S. or allied forces have launched an offensive against ISIS in Syria, other than a failed July 4 rescue attempt in the Raqqah area to try to free an American held hostage by ISIS.
While the Syrian government is also at war with ISIS (and other insurgent groups), it is not considered a friend or ally by the United States. The U.S. did inform the Assad regime in Damascus of the imminent attacks.
The attacks on Syrian targets of September 22, 2014, are considered only the tip of the spear, as it were, in the escalating war on ISIS.