our goal is to degrade and destroy them, and our troops have been given the order. our obligation is to support them no matter what one's feelings are about the perils of the fight. we'll see you tomorrow night at 9:00. thanks for choosing us tonight. i'm megyn kelly. to degrade and eventually destroy. i'm shepard smith at the fox news deck with continuing coverage from america's newsroom of our new war in syria. america's war against the islamic state has spread to that nation. defense officials tell american troops that bombs and missiles began falling about an hour ago, blowing up isis targets or islamic state targets and greatly escalating the war against that savage terror group. this is the first bombing campaign in syria, the militant group that executed two american civilians, cut off their heads and posted the video for the world to see. the terrorists have also executed a british citizen and threatened another.
and untold thousands of locals across iraq and syria. but the beheadings themselves reportedly happened in syria. that led to president obama's announcement just two weeks ago that he would in fact take the fight against the islamic state beyond the air strikes he had already ordered in iraq. so now the united states is going after isis regardless of borders. the group controls large territories in both iraq and syria. doesn't see that border at all. in fact, sees it as their own islamic state. according to pentagon officials speaking to fox news, the united states is attacking with bomber, with fighter jets and with tomahawk missiles. source tell us the targets include islamic state command centers, training camps, and spots where the terror groups store huge caches of weapons. we can't really target the leader there's because we don't have the ground intelligence to know exactly who they are and exactly where they are. we're told four arab nations are also flying in the missions over syria, flying in the mission.
and those are saudi arabia, jordan, bahrain, and the united arab emirates. defense officials say a fifth nation qatar is also helping in the effort, but not by air, which is very interesting in and of itself. and we'll get to the reasons for that later. the white house tells us president obama does not plan to speak publicly tonight about these strikes. when the president announced the plans to strike in syria, he made a point of declaring that as commander in chief, he does indeed have the authority to order these strikes with or without approval from congress. of course there is more to that, and we'll get do that. lawmakers were split about whether they should take a vote. but congress did pass part of the president's strategy to take on the islamic state by approving a bill to train and arm so-called moderate syrian rebels. those moderate syrian rebels as the administration likes to call them, would act in theory as ground forces for the west to fight the islamic state. president obama has repeated over and over that he will not
send american troops into combat. so tonight president obama's strategy to attack isis or the islamic state from the air is fully under way. the opening salvos, if you will, no longer confined to iraq, but stretching into syria, where the bombs began falling tonight. so who are the ground forces? at this point, make no mistake. there are no ground forces. president obama says they will not come from the united states. we are hoping as a nation, it's our understanding, to find groups on the ground who can help us eventually. the president has said this free syrian army, which is a group of people who have banded together over the past couple years to fight against bashar al assad and his murderous regime in syria. there are more than 100 other small groups, and in some cases large groups that are also fighting against each other in some cases and against assad in some cases, but in almost every case, they have been outmanned along the way there was a call of more than a year ago for the united states to arm those
rebels on the ground. they'll take out bashar al assad's forces. the decision was made by the president not to do that. now we find ourselves in this place, where giving weapons to the enemy of our enemy may be the best course of action. but how do you train them? well, the president says they will be trained in saudi arabia. and that training according to the pentagon will take one year for 5,000 troops. so it will be at least one year from now before any of this moderate rebel contingent will be available to fight on the ground. tonight and for the foreseeable future, it's air strikes. so what will they do? what kind of planes and military power are involved at this hour? what sort of equipment is the military using? where is it coming from, where is it going? let's get right to jennifer griffin and her post at the pentagon. it sounds like this thing is well laid out and clearly planned in advance. >> it's been clearly planned, but according to rear admiral john kirby, the spokesman at the pentagon, the decision was taken
by centcom commanders earlier today. the first missiles that were fired for tomahawku9bñ missiles shepherd. they were fired from a uss destroyer, the arlie burk, which was based in the red sea. they also came from a second direction from the uss philippine sea, which is out in the persian gulf, the northern arabian sea. so that's where the tomahawks came from. they were the first to fly and the first bombs to land in raqqah, the center of this isis -- that's where the command and control is for isis, the hawks for isis, if you will, in syria. we're told that there are between 20 and 25 targets. the planes that are flying, they are f-16s, b-1 bombers as well as f-18s. the f-18s would take off from the uss h.w. bush. the f-16s would take off from base around the region. as we mention, the united arab emirates is flying in the lead
as part of this coalition of arab states. saudi arabia fighter pilots as well as jordanian bahraini fighter pilots. we understand much of the command and control of course is out of qatar. so you have five arab countries. this is almost unprecedented in terms of the history of u.s. warfel in terms of the number of fighter pilots involved from arab states in these air strikes tonight, shepherd. >> jennifer, we know that jordan has to the east there has a terrible has a terrible refugee crisis. he says they can't take any more. the other one that has the refugee crisis going on at the time is turkey. there a chance? is there a chance, is there an understanding that turkey will or will not be involved with this? >> it's very interesting, shepherd. we just heard today from the president of turkey who is in new york for the u.n. general assembly.
he spoke at the council on foreign relations. and he was asked about how his diplomats who had been kidnapped and held hostage for the last 102 days by isis how they were released over the weekend, was there any money that changed hands. and he suggested that he was asked whether there was a prisoner release involved. and he was cagey and suggested that maybe there was a prisoner release involved. he ruled out that money had changed hands. but remember, turkey has not allowed the u.s. to use its bases to go after isis in iraq and syria until this point because they were concerned about those 46 diplomats and their children who were taken hostage by isis 102 days ago in mosul. those 49 diplomats, include league iraqis were released over the weekend. now it will be interesting interesting, and the president of turkey indicated that he will allow the u.s. to use their bases.
that's going to be very significant in this war effort. because as you mentioned, jordan is already flooded with refugees and is perhaps the most vulnerable of all the nations right now in terms of isis and its potential threat to the stability of that kingdom. so the fact that jordan is involve tonight very significant. the fact that saudi arabia has publicly said that it will allow the u.s. to train using bases in saudi arabia also a very significant move because remember these isis terrorists they are going to strike back at these arab countries. and all of these arab countries know that.
we'll count on you throughout the night, jennifer, for updates. i want to let our viewers understand where we are in this new world and this new war against the islamic state in syria. we've all heard a lot about damascus, that's the capital. we've heard a lot about aleppo. which is up here. this is the city you're going to be hearing more and more about. raqqa. raqq was taken over by isis in march of 2013. march of last year isis came rolling up in there. this is the first provincial city. this city is the capital of this province. about a million people in the province of raqqa, about a quarter million people in the city of raqqa. so it's like new york state and new york city. new york city the capital except that it's albany, but you know what i mean. the province is raqqa and the city is raqqa. so that's where isis went first. they made it clear to syria in the very beginning exactly what they were doing. if you were caught stealing,
they held public amputations of hands. if you were running from police or isis militants, public amputations of legs there. defacto capital now of this islamic state they believe stretches from here generally speaking over into the north of iraq. all right. in addition raqqa's city hall houses the islamic services commission. raqqa's former police office there of finance ministry contains the sharia court. that's the religious court which hands out religious rulings. traffic police located in the first sharia high school. at any rate all -- this is the capital. and this is what we first started hitting now in the early morning hours on a tuesday there inside syria. we are told there are some weapons caches here, that there are some storage bases for all of its equipment which in large part they got from us, and munition and weapons and all the rest. those were the initial targets. not the leadership, because we can't do that yet.
but instead these important military weapons caches and the rest. these are the countries involved in all of this. bahrain, remember tiny island nation right across from saudi arabia, there's one bridge right there. our fifth fleet is based in bahrain. bahrain has had its own troubles over the years. and saudi arabia at one point came over the bridge and knocked them down. these are countries with which we have almost nothing in common thank god when it comes to how they treat their people and especially their women, but we are in a coalition with them now. saudi arabia, we all know our relationship with them. no boots on the ground, but we are training the one who is are coming from syria, the free syrian army, the moderate rebels whom we are training, we'll be training them in saudi arabia at a base there, that will take a year says the pentagon and then there will be boots on the ground. who will be the boots on the ground from now and a year from now? the president, everybody involved, analysts from hither and yon say there has to be boots on the ground or it will
they cannot be stopped. we have no solution for boots for the next year unless they come up with something else. united arab emirates of the arab coalition, the united arab emirates is lead hearing. they have a substantial air force. command and control most likely out of qatar. you may remember during the gulf war number two, the most recent gulf war, we have an enormous military base there. it has rarely been talked about over time, at least until the last defense secretary went over to visit it. but tremendous air capabilities here, outstanding command and control capabilities. again, that's in the nation of qatar. and the last one of course is jordan. this is this border. remember, this is the border from jordan over into syria. jordan is here. this is the syrian border. 1.2 million syrians, according to the king of jordan speaking to cnn the other night have come across the border from syria into jordan. and they have this refugee crisis. the concerns that turkey will have the same crises. and we're beginning to see that
happening now. so as our bombs fall in syria, what exactly will change on the ground? let's turn to p.j. crowley, now a professor of practice at george washington university. sir, nice to talk to you. >> hello, shepherd. >> help our viewers understand what we've just started. >> well, i think we've started a process to begin to degrade the islamic state as you said. it's going to be some time before there's meaningful action on the ground. i think the concern was to try to chip away at the de facto safe haven that the islamic state enjoys in syria. >> go on. i'm sorry, p.j. i thought my mic was closed. >> so we've been taking meaningful action in iraq over the last several weeks. but this is a two-front campaign. you can't begin the process of degrading and ultimately
defeating the islamic state without doing meaningful action on both sides of the border. >> so what we're doing at the moment is just slowing this advance down, is that fair? >> well, obviously the islamic state has had some offensive operations in iraq. and now you're taking a rear guard action. and they have to look in two directions, not just one. and what's meaningful here as you just were laying out is that you have very significant involvement and very public involvement by several of the major sunni majority states in the region that are most directly affected by the rise of the islamic state. and this is a significant statement in terms of their willingness to step up and take a leading role in the military operation. >> p.j., i suppose we could call this as it relates to our war in syria the equivalent of shock and awe on the first night of the gulf war. and on that night we had no way
to know what the future would bring, just as we don't tonight. what is the level of concern that as bombs fall and civilian casualties happen that isis or the islamic state will take those pictures, use it for recruiting, in the end make themselves stronger and make us seen in the region as having entered a civil war that's been raging for years on the side of iran. >> well, i don't think that i would necessarily draw an immediate parallel to what happened in 2003 or to what happened in 1991. one of the critical questions here will be, you know, what is the response of the syrian government obviously has an interest in what other countries are doing thin its borders. iraq is some distance from damascus as you were just laying out. so it doesn't necessarily mean that the air operations by the coalition necessarily interferes with ongoing syrian operations.
we'll have to wait and see what the syrian reaction is. another pivotal aspect here as jennifer was just laying out whether in tonight's missions or in future missions the united states will have access to air base in turkey. that's a relatively short distance, a quick jog over the border, drop bombs on raqqa and back over into friendly territory. and obviously, we'll see how the islamic state responds to now attacks not just against its forces deployed within iraq, but forces that are arrayed around its de facto capital. obviously this is a major escalation. >> indeed it is. pj crowley with us. thank you. you mentioned what the syrian government how it will react tonight. we know what it said before this happened. the syrian government said that would be seen as an act of aggression.
remember, the iraqi government was all about us dropping air strikes. because isis was attacking, the central government was in fear it could lose more ground. well, in the case of syria, bashar al assad's government has said no one else's air strikes, this is our battle to fight. and interestingly on some level back on september 8th sergei lavrov, who is the foreign minister over in russia said this would be seen as an act of aggression there. moscow urging the west to respect international law. again, moscow urging that, respect international law and undertake such acts only with the approval of the legitimate government of a state. his comments came shortly after washington announced plans to go on the offensive of the islamic state group. so russia says act of -- a bad act against international law. syria says it would be seen as an act of aggression. let's bring in john bussey now.
in a way owned by the parent company of our network, we have multiple parents. >> yes. what we've just done, if you are sitting in that region, we've entered their conflict and we've taken a side. >> yeah. for the u.s., this is really the beginning of the beginning. right? there were air strikes in iraq, but now we're in syria as well. and the intent is to try to take pressure off of iraq. so they're hitting supply depots along the syrian/iraqi border that have been supplying isis in iraq. a lot of things are still really unclear what happens now. we know there are arab nations that are flying missions tonight. but to what extent are they going to stay engaged in what inevitably will involve some ground forces of some sort. if not actual combat forces, then intelligence gathering on the ground. pj crowley very good point about turkey. turkey is standing back from this. we have an air base in turkey. turkey's situation in this is really dicey.
it is now seeing huge number of refugees coming across the border. kurds coming across the border in turkey. that's destabilizing its relationship with its own kurdish population, parts of which it has defined and the u.s. has agreed is a terrorist organization. so there's a lot of ga mishing going on here. turkey at some point is going to have to decide we're in this or not in this. >> we've just gotten new video come to us i must admit from youtube. on camera four now show you what it is. and camera six will pick us up. this is this new video that's come in. and, john, if you can get over here, i want to show our viewers. we believe this is from -- this is not islamic state video. but this is amateur video coming in, the first strikes we believe. >> this is very interesting also in that syria has advanced russian air defense systems. julian barnes reporting on this in "the wall street journal" tonight.
apparently isn't using those. why? either the stealth fighters that are in this engagement are evading the air defenses or syria says, look, bring on the bombs. if you're going to be bombing the group that i, assad, have been seeking to push out of the country, then i'm not going to interfere with your aircraft. >> this video is interesting. you might be asking fox news channel how can you take this individual you off youtube and put it up here like it is something. we have ways. one is we geolocate cell phones. and this video was taken in raqqa and taken within the last couple of hours. and jennifer griffin has been looking at it with us. jennifer, we don't have any way to know for sure, but we know we have struck in raqqah, and we know this video came from raqqah. >> what we know is we have geolocated the person who posted this video. in fact, it's been posted by three people at this point from different angles. and they are located in raqqa. so we feel comfortable while we can't confirm with the pentagon
that this is in fact u.s. air strikes on the ground, we do know that those who are posting these videos are based in raqqa. and this is certainly what u.s. air strikes would look like. do not expect this to look like shock and awe. this is not shock and awe. this is approximately 25 targets. it will be carried out. there won't be any stealth fighters involved. there are f-16s and f-18s. they are not stealth fighters. so as john bussey was pointing out, it is very interesting that the syrians clearly did not turn on their air defense systems. or if they did turn them on, they have been blocked in some way. and the u.s. and its allies certainly have the ability to do a number of things that might have prevented the syrians from turning on those air defense systems. but i do not have any indication from defense sources that i've been speaking to that
they're terribly concerned about the air defense systems. it is significant they started with tomahawk missiles. that would be normal in a situation like this to maybe take out some of those air defense systems. you normally see the tomahawks fire first off of the u.s. navy warships as we've been reporting they started in the red sea and in the north arabian sea, those destroyers and cruisers were the ones who fired those first tomahawk missiles. also the coalition partners we're working with, those arab nations, they would likely be flying f-16s. so those are not stealth fighter jets. but again, shepherd, you can't put too fine a point on it on just how historic a coalition this is. we often have heard in the past about the coalition of the willing, but we really have ç never seen four arab nations flying air missions with the united states simultaneously dropping bombs on targets. this is a very risky move by the -- on the part of saudi arabia, jordan. jordan has a lot to lose in this
if isis is to begin to come across its borders. it's very close to syria. it already has more than a million refugees as we pointed out. so for the united arab emirates to be taking the lead flying missions, this is something that the president and the administration has said all along that this would not be a u.s. only air war. this was going to be a united states air war along with its arab allies. and tonight we've seen four arab allies step up and begin dropping bombs on isis, which they see as a great threat to their livelihoods as they do to ours. >> understood. jennifer griffin, great report. thank you. i want to go back to this video again. take it full in there, mike. i'm going to start it from the beginning. there we go. listen closely. [ gunfire ] we don't know what they're hitting there, but assuming by the multiple explosions it could
be weapons. now watch on the left-hand side of your screen. you'll see there is a building in the foreground and another explosion. john bussey, we'll be seeing a lot of this in the days ahead. this will become the rat-a-tat-tat of the daily news cycle as this can of worms has now been open. anybody that suggests he or she knows what the days, weeks, months and maybe years ahead bring is being disingenuous. yeah, i think that's quite true. these are targets that were stationary primarily. they were arms depots, command and control centers that the u.s. and its allies had identified. those are going to move. those are now going to go on the road. they did not -- or so they were reporting reveals they did not target leaders of isis. they've been very careful to stay out of the public eye, off of cell phones. but now things change a bit, right?
now that you have this kind of bombing, it smokes out a certain degree of the leadership. it creates new targets. i think that's what we'll see now in the days ahead. before you cannot underscore what jennifer said enough. the fact that you have other arab nations flying in the skies over syria, this is historic. and it does open problems for these nations potentially if this is a protracted conflict because there are a lot of people in their own domestic population that are not in favor of supporting the u.s. in this. >> john, thanks. stay with us. i want to turn to bret baier, host of special report and live with us in washington. bret, we know that these arab nations are involved in this process. we're told by the pentagon they're flying along with us tonight. we don't know the extent of that involvement or what it will be in the days ahead or do we? >> we know a little bit, shep. i want to echo a couple of things. john is right. i'm just getting from sources that these first targets were hard targets, they were arsenals, depots, command and control facilities.
they were not targets of opportunity or ones that were time sensitive. these were hard targets that had been planned in the blueprint essentially laid out for the president at centcom when he was down there. and obviously they've chosen these targets specifically. another source telling us just to answer the other question about air defenses that most of the still active syrian air western part of syria, as you continue to look at this video we believe is on the ground in raqqa. most of the air defenses assad controls are in the allah wide alawite areas in western syria. the strikes are in the eastern part in raqqa. it's believed that's the isis controlled area in the east. so with only a few dozen targets, let's say 25 targets, this source describes that as low hanging fruit, easily identified and relatively easy to strike without even coordination with the syrian government.
we heard, shep, from the u.s. government that it would not be this coordination with the syrians and assad obviously in the situation between the u.s. and syria as it is. but this explains a little bit about what we're hearing about air defenses. to your point about the coalition. it's hard to overstate the importance and i think you're going to see the president tout it a lot at the united nations tomorrow morning. >> all right. we talked about turkey and whether -- and to what degree turkey to be involved. that independent -- air base across the way just across the boarder in turkey is going to be crucial. >> it will be. and turkey, you know, has been pointed out has a real problem with refugees along the border there. you know, they will have to make a decision. despite the fact we've heard turkey has not been willing to really step up here in part because they had hostages in isis. those have now been released.
and we may see turkey do something more publicly. the fact in this arab coalition you have saudi arabia, the uae, jordan and qatar as well as bahrain, qatar being the other nation along with turkey that has been not only reticent to help in this coalition, but some were suggesting that were funding some of these terrorists. and there have been some concerns about that funding going on. we know that qatar obviously had been funding hamas during the hamas/israel fighting. so i think the fact qatar is even listed in these five nations is significant. >> bret baier, thanks. i want to show our viewers some of what's coming in now from the region. we're getting some tweets on the news deck. these are all confirmed to be from this region. the air strikes, five or six, concentrated near the governor norate building, isis main headquarters, meanwhile sounds of warplanes can be heard clearly.
huge explosion shook the city in what might be the beginning of u.s. air strikes on isis headquarters in raqqa and indeed they were. also, talibad on the turkish border. bombed according to activist there's. that is a border city. it is very, very close to the turkish border. i should say the syrian border on the syrian side. and reports of similar air strikes on tabga town and brigade 93. all in that isis controlled area, the isis controlled area of syria and certainly all our work continues in iraq as well. now, working across the border in two different countries. but the islamic state sees it as all one thing. the islamic state ruled by baghdadi. and now he has professed himself to be the leader of all muslims around the world.
where does this take us? the days ahead? we have no way to know. but tonight we know the opening salvo has happened just before the early morning hours in syria american drops. syria it's 10:30 on the east coast. 7:30 on the west coast. i'm shepherd smith in new york and this is fox news channel's continuing coverage of the new war against isis or the islamic state now not only in iraq but beginning tonight also in syria beginning tonight also in syria. the united states targeted some 20 different locations, hard targets as bret baier put them, fuel depots, weapons depots, command and control headquarters, according to the tweets that we're getting out of the region isis headquarters right there in the city of raqqa. raqqa the city first overtaken by the first provincial capital at least overtaken by the islamic state when they marched into sir in march of 2013. since then there have been public amputations there
executions in that spot. and that is the place in government buildings which existed as the provincial capital of raqqa, that's -- the spot where the isis militants have been conducting the government if you will of this islamic state. tonight, command and control targets have been hit. and these are but the opening salvos of what may be a week, th month, even years long battle against the islamic state. with our arab partners. let's get right to wendell goler who is in washington tonight. wendell, congress has been notifieded?n >> congress has been notified, shepherd. we know from spokesman from house speaker john boehner thate the president spoke with him.er and it's likely he spoke with t all four democrat and republica leaders of the house and senatei the president's aides say he has the authority to launch these strikes against isis under a 2001 law that granted him the -- hority to -- or granted him authority to go after al qaeda r even though isis had split from al qaeda. tho officials say isis doesn't get
the right to determine its own fate by doing that. the president would like congressional authorization for this action.ke he says it's much stronger wheno the world believes the united rl states is united in this effort. but congressional authorization is complicated by the fall midterm elections. senate majority leader harry s. reid very reluctant to make somt blue state democrats vote in favor of renewed military action in iraq and also in syria. so it's likely we will not see congressional authorization wi until a lame duck session after the november vote. d the decision to launch tonight h as we've heard made by the commander of central command who spoke with the president last week. the president said then he would build a broad coalition againsta isis. we see now at least four arab nations, the united arab emirates, bahrain, saudi arabia, jordan taking part in tonight's, kinetic air activity. the president also aims to builo
a broader coalition when he heads to the united nations general assembly tomorrow and ni chairs for only the second time in history a meeting of the nd t united nations security councile at the head of state level. we won't hear from him tonight,e but we do expect to hear from him tomorrow. the president has stressed there will be no u.s. boots on the ground. but his advisors say someone's boots will have to be on the ground in syria and iraq. the president also said in hav address to the nation on the 10th of september that we cannot do for the iraqis what they mus do for themselves nor can we take the place of the arab partners in securing their region. pla finally, i want to touch on turkey's involvement in this.ll my colleague jennifer griffin ym talked about that a bit. turkey was widely seen in the early stages of the syrian civil war as a part of the problem, especially when isis fighters began to emerge it was thought s that they were getting into syria through the 800-mile border that country has with turkey.nt
one official said today on background that is a huge part of what we're trying to impact. we're meeting with them very e a specifically on the problem. over the past year we've seen a increase in turkey's awareness e of the problem and trying to do something about it.ro and now about 50 turkish diplomats and family members who had been held by isis, shepherd, have been released. ha >> wendell golar live in ar washington. wendell, thanks very much. it's interesting the role turkey has played not by way of information or contrast or contacts even.n. remember the last time we fough. in iraq when gulf war 2 began, when the last war against iraq , began, when we went to baghdad, took the place over and occupied it and then did some nation rk building, turkey was among the original problems. patiently we were ready. wer our correspondents were stage. as a result we had some background information. we realized it was time for thio war to begin. we needed one more partner, and that one more partner was
turkey. they were two or three votes in short, i think three votes short in the turkish parliament of ey giving us a permission to take e 50 infantry division. remember, it was would come frol texas. it would fly up to turkey and it would make its way down into iraq and would secure the northern part of iraq. would help what amounts to kurdistan, the fifth, i meant the fourth, they weren't allowed to do it. that's when a meeting came together and said do we wait? because this is part of our strategy and rumsfeld said, no, we can do it.thn is as a result they went in more quickly than they would have gone in before .it. they left some fighters behind. and, well, we all know how the rest of that story played out. not that that's the whole reason for it, but that's part of the story.ay waleed fareed is with us. fox middle east analyst with use where do you see us tonight as the first tomahawks have been dropped? >> well, shep, the most important happening tonight in my eyes is the formation of wham i can coin already an arab nato. let me precise which one, saudi
arabia, the uae leading the air force, bahrain and jordan.he this is the core. obviously qatar has a different situation which we can't discuss. but these four counts now are a war with isis and alongside with us. now, remember a few weeks ago there was a question about the uae air force bombing a jihadi position in libya. j so this has been in preparationb these four countries are going all the way. they know that isis and al qaedi are eyeing them. the two questions are about one and let me say this about turkey. we i will really know about turkey, not if it allows u.s. air force to use their base, but if it uses its own air force, the turkish air force which is equipped wonderfully by america jet to participate in the bombing in syria.
>> well, that remains to be seen. turkey's not yet joined this coalition, if you will. interesting qatar here, walid. we speak around it because we're not on the ground to know for e certain. qatar has repeatedly negotiated the ransom of hostages held by theor islamic state for those nations in europe and otherwise that may ransom for hostages to isis. f turkey was the -- i'm sorry, th qatar was the intermediary if you will.atar and there have been further claims that qatar was actually helping fund the isis militants on their own. your sense of where that puts . qatar with our big military -- our air force base there and all the rest. >> now, this is the day qatar will have to make a choice.wi the fact tells us that qatar hat been funding jihadists. f now, qatar claimed it has not been funding isis, but many of s those jihadists it funded over the past three years shifted and switched to isis. that is a fact. number two, qatar basically has a problem because it's a mediator. so it has contact with isis.s
did it decide to stop the mediation and now become part or the alliance? the fourth problem, shep, if you look at the map, saudi arabia, the united arab emirates and bahrain, as well as egypt have e problem with qatar, diplomatic problem with qatar. they have been accused of being a supporter of the muslim brotherhood. so qatar coordinating with these other partners, this is why i think those clearly in the campaign are jordan, saudi, ewe united arab emirates and bahrain, and qatar is somewhat in linkage with us. bah what is the contribution really of w qatar we do not know. the last report did not tell qa fuss qatar is flying planes over syria or not. >> officially, the brutal assad government of syria says this is not something allowed to do this. is a syrian matter alone. that said, behind the scenes, you wonder if bashar al assad doesn't welcome this. it is these very fighters who have worked to take him on. b
if they have to fight on anothe front, that could in essence prop him up. >> shep, now we are getting very close to the real deal. number one, of course the syrian regime will have to do a bonanza. it will have to say things. i will not accept, you know, i will oppose. practically they're not going to engage our air force or the arab air force. he will lose everything he has in terms of anti-aircraft defenses. but the real challenge is going to be on the ground. if we have a sustained campaign, we're not sure maybe it's eighti hours, nine hours, maybe it's morene. if you have a sustained campaign, then isis will start losing on the ground. the real question, which units are going to move to control those isis positions.ov is it going to be the opposition? is it ready? or is it going to be assad? my bet is today assad today andd hezbollah and the iranians are looking at the map and seeing if isis is going to be destroyed in some of these positions and see
if they're unit or not . this is a little bit early, but this wouldld be their thinking tonight. >> we often overlook this. apparently we overlook it at all levels of our society that this civil war's been going on a lot longer than we've been a nation. and if you are from there and you are religious and either sunni or shia, you might look at this as the united states entering this civil war and taking a religious side.nd to what degree are you concerned that that will be a problem for us long-term much more than isie could ever have been? muc >> excellent question. h now, if we are intervening to weaken isis and isis basically d is a sunni -- extreme sunni organization. then help other sunni moderates to take over, that's why you r have arab moderates, sunni air forces working with you now. if that is the case, then we don't have a big risk. but if we move in, remove isis and then those move in on the ground, shep, are going to be the sir kwan alawite and shia
iranian element, then it would be seen as favoring the shiite over the sunni and things will get very complicated. we have to be very careful as to the results on the ground not just from the air. >> is it your sense we're winging it? how could you have a long-term plan like that? >> i don't see the long-term plan. what i see is this is a retribution to what isis has done. remember the president has said this is going to be long. it could be even longer than 2016, the fact that we're going to begin the air campaign. look, the israelis and hamas have been bombing each other for the last how many years? 20 years now. so unless something on the ground is going to happen, unless a force that we have worked with is going to move and take over those positions, it could well be a very long campaign of bombing in syria and in iraq. >> and don't forget, now, we are talking about arming the free syrian army, remember? that is one of more than 100 groups that are fighting on the ground at various times against each other and against assad and just fighting.
we're going to arm them, the same ones whom the president of the united states called a fantasy as fighters on the ground. said they were doctors and lawyers and chiropractors and all the rest, and then all of the sudden they went out to become an army. and now we're going to arm themn and make them our fighting force on the ground. he said it sounded like fantasy. that's what the president said. why isn't it a fantasy now? >> well, look, there are no other choices. >> i know. walid, if you're left between i have fantasy or i have do nothing, fantasy is the president's word. and it's the pentagon that tells us 5,000 of these people to be trained in saudi arabia, which is where we'll presumably traina them, the pentagon says that will take one year. so between now and the time we get the fantasy players in play, we have a what, just a dream? because there are no forces on the ground, are there?here >> we have a bridge that is not
getting us anywhere at this point in time. we are bombing and weakening isis. a that's a fact. we're seeing it. you're reporting on it. what we don't see, again, goingn back on the ground the fantasy or reality, they are not ready at this point in time.he do you have five, six brigades to move into raqqa tomorrow, next week? no. so we are bombing and weakening isis and then training the opposition.. my concern is that the most en organized on the ground are not. going to be the fsa, my friend. they're going to be the assad forces, the hezbollah forces. that's why i'm saying tonight in damascus and beirut and tehran, those units are saying should we move? should we wait?it should we wait for the americans to destroy them and then shouldo we be the first to move?as >> bret baier in washington for us, this is a difficult prospect what the president called the fantasy players won't be ready for a year. now we've got bombs in the air a and the possibility of all these other fighters coming in from these other nations.
>> yeah, shep. i mean, it is serious. it's a three dimensional chess game here that they are trying to get these fighters on the ground.on but as you mentioned they're nou a trained force as of yet. there are some estimates they could be in country in three months.e but it's going to take some time. a couple things to think about t after these bombing runs happenn about these as we mentioned har targets for isis, command and control, their arsenals also training grounds that have been spotted and intelligence has singled them out especially around raqqa in eastern syria.r there also will be questions, eventually, about while you're in syria on these bombing runs, why not take out the assad government structure? this is a president as you ad remember and as you see this video again from the ground in raqqa, this is a president who said assad must go some 20 different times. so there will be some calls to have that continue.
and that is a big, big policy s question. we're not there yet. these are specific targets about isis.uest but there will be a question about that. and if the free syrian army is the -- are the boots on the ground, are they going to be able to hold off the assad folks, the hezbollah folks to try to fill the void if isis is destroyed by these air strikes. >> because that would -- go ahead, sorry. excuse me. >> no, i mean, the key thing is this has an arab face tonight.e as walid mentions these coalition countries are the keyp part of this. and this is what is going to be the public face of this, these five nations. but you are still going to haven questions about the syrian government and where we go from here after this night is syr finished. >> bret baier in washington.
waleed phares, stay with us if you would. continuing coverage live all night long. first though, is what the uniten states and its coalition partners did tonight legal? under international law can the united states launch its tomahawk missiles from the sea, fly its fighters over the air in a sovereign nation? is that legal? a, jennifer griffin on that in just a moment.ifer this is continuing coverage of ' america's new war against isis, and we'll be right back.
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nine minutes before the hour now and breaking news on the equipment being used in iraq and now in syria. tonight history was made. jennifer griffin at the pentagon. jennifer, the f-22? >> that's right, shepherd. we just confirmed that the f-22 raptor, the most state-of-the-art fighter jet in the u.s. air force arsenal was in fact used. it would have been used most likely against those air defense systems, against the assad regime air defense systems, because, again, there has been some concern about the air defense systems most likely what you would do after the tomahawks were fired off the ship.
the f-22 fighter ships would be sent in to take out some of those systems or to evade those air defense systems. it shows there is still some concern about the systems. this is the first time in the history of the u.s. military that the f-22 has been used. this is a $143 million plane, shepherd, that has not yet until tonight been flown in combat. >> jennifer, another subject now than one we had planned. isis did not strike the united states as far as any hard evidence that we have seen. it poses no threat to the united states. but yet we and our coalition partners attacked icy tonight. is that legal? and if so, how? >> well, it's a very interesting question. it's certainly a question that is going to be asked in coming days. u.s. officials say that the president acted under article two of the constitution as well as the 2001 authorization for the use of military force. the aumf laws passed seven days
after 9/11. you remember, that's been a controversial law. it's been on the books now for the past 13 years. what the aumf says is the u.s. has the right to self-defense and to protect u.s. citizens both at home and abroad, and that the president has the authority under the constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the united states. now what is interesting, shepherd, is earlier today u.s. officials, administration officials held a background briefing, a phone call with a select journalists in which they explained for the first time, and we thought this was very curious earlier in the day, that they said that some of the 100 american jihadist fighters who had gone to syria, that they believed some of them now had made their way to the united states, and that the fbi was tracking some of them. this is the first time we heard this. and it came just days after last week administration official, cabinet, secretaries, as well as the president said there was no
imminent threat to the homeland. today that changed. what could this mean? this could mean the pretext that they needed to show that international terrorism had made its way to the u.s. shores, that the u.s. in fact had the right under the current u.s. law, the right to self-defense to protect americans at home and abroad. that's what the 2001 aumf law essentially says. and that the president is acting legally. so that is the legal justification. the question is will it hold up according to international law. the president is going up to the united nations to deal with that very issue. >> the big issue tomorrow. and actually wednesday. jennifer, thanks very much. the news continues right after this. right here. with a control pad that can read your handwriting, a wide-screen multimedia center, and a head-up display for enhanced driver focus. all inside a newly redesigned cabin of unrivaled style and comfort. ♪
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watch this. sam always gives you the good news in person, bad news in email. good news -- fedex has flat rate shipping. it's called fedex one rate. and it's affordable. sounds great. [ cell phone typing ] [ typing continues ] [ whoosh ] [ cell phones buzz, chirp ] and we have to work the weekend. great. more good news -- it's friday! woo! [ male announcer ] ship a pak via fedex express saver® for as low as $7.50. most interesting on this night is our war in syria has just begun, the war against the islamic state, arab partners, a historic night with four different arab nations involved
in this. a fifth preparing to be involved and the possibility that turkey will as well. with the united arab emirates leading the arab nations in airstrikes, we're told by the pentagon in those first salvos that happened tonight. hours if it happens tonight. it's 11:00 on the east coast. 8:00 p.m on the west coast. 6:00 a.m in syria the sun has risen above isis militants in a new world. we have continuing coverage of tonight's breaking news the pentagon confirms the united states began bombing targets in that country linked to the islamic state terror group we heard from a senior official the military is briefing president obama on the operation throughout the night. we have reports of the first amateur video from inside seara. first on fox tonight. we're told this shows some of the first strikes in the syrian city of raka. this would be the capitol