The Defense Department announced Friday morning that the U.S. bombed ISIS in Iraq. "US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery," Rear Adm. John Kirby tweeted. "Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel." U.S. Navy FA-18's dropped two 500-pound bombs on them. President Obama announced Thursday night from the White House that he authorized airstrikes on ISIS forces who are threatening to massacre thousands of people trapped in mountains in northern Iraq. "When many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the prosect of being wiped out, we will take action," he said, earlier saying ISIS's plan for the 40,000 Yazidis constitues an act of genocide. Humantarian supplies were dropped to the Yazidis on Thursday night prior to bombing.
According to the National Security Council, the White House will send a War Powers letter to Congress to formally inform the legislative branch of the airstrikes. According Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, it was shelling of Kurds by ISIS that triggered the strike, and the military "has a green light" if there are threats to Irbil or the people taking refuge in the mountains. “The fact of the matter is we have people in Irbil and if Irbil is allow to fall, they will be at risk,” said Rhodes on Friday.
In a statement issued in response to the news, House Speaker John Boehner said that while he thinks the airstrikes are "appropriate" he is "dismayed by the ongoing absence of a strategy for countering the grave threat Isis poses to the region.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has banned all U.S. flights over Iraq in a notice to airmen.