Syria says Washington informed it before strikes

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Syria says Washington informed it before strikes
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft prior to strike operations in Syria against ISIL. (Photo: Sgt. Russ Scalf) http://t.co/lZgUfJ5Nn5
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a prime time address from the Cross Hall of the White House on September 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. Vowing to target the Islamic State with air strikes 'wherever they exist', Obama pledged to lead a broad coalition to fight IS and work with 'partner forces' on the ground in Syria and Iraq. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after speaking during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama is watched on a television screen at a nail salon as he delivers a speech on his strategy to combat the terrorist group ISIS on September 10, 2014 in San Francisco, California. President Obama delivered a short prime time televised speech to the Nation to outline his strategy to combat the terrorist group ISIS following the beheadings of two American journalists. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 05: Aircraft from the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team create coloured vapour trails as they fly over the Celtic Manor resort, the venue for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit on September 5, 2014 in Newport, United Kingdom. Leaders and senior ministers from around 60 countries are meeting on the final day of the two day summit with Afghanistan and Ukraine at the top of the agenda. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe-Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) speaks with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama arrives alongside Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (R) ahead of a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) during a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister David Cameron (3rd R) speaks alongside US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (5th R) during a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister David Cameron (3rd L) speaks alongside US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) during a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama arrives alongside Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (R) ahead of a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and France's President Francois Hollande (3rd L) hold a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) and French President Francois Hollande hold a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (4th R) and French President Francois Hollande (5th L) hold a meeting on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron listen as NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a leaders meeting on the future of NATO at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at a leaders meeting on the future of NATO at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. President Barack Obama, center, speaks with U.S. Defense Minister Chuck Hagel as they participate in a round table meeting of the North Atlantic Council during a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
U.S. President Barack Obama, centre right, stands alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, centre left, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, second left, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, left, Romanian President Traian Basescu, right, and RAF Group Captain David Bentley, second right, during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
From left, British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and British RAF Group Captain David Bentley watch a flypast on the second day of a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Military jets perform a fly-over during a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, watch a flypast on the second day of a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, stands alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
NATO leaders stand on a stage during a group photo opportunity at a NATO summit on the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day meeting leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, seen on screen, speaks as President Barack Obama and NATO leaders meet regarding Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. President Barack Obama talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stand at rear before NATO leaders meet regarding Afghanistan at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center right, speaks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, center left, as they attend a NATO-Ukraine round table meeting during a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day summit leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
President Barack Obama speaks with British Prime Minister David Cameron as NATO leaders meet regarding Afghanistan at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. From left are, Secretary of State John Kerry, the president, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaks with a child at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Newport, Wales, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Obama visited the school with British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday, before attending a two-day NATO summit at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport. (AP Photo/Christopher Jones Pool)
Secretary of State John Kerry, center, talks with President Barack Obama as British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, finishes speaking at a meeting of NATO leaders regarding Afghanistan at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, speaks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as they attend a NATO-Ukraine round table meeting during a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day summit leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, greet Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo during arrivals for a NATO summit on the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day meeting leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Britain's Prince Charles, left, greets U.S. President Barack Obama as he arrives to attend a 'Welcome the World to Wales' reception hosted by the Prince as part of a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. NATO leaders grappled Thursday with whether the alliance has a role in containing a mounting militant threat in the Middle East, as heads of state converged in Wales for a high-stakes summit also focused on the crisis in Ukraine and next steps in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks with British Prime Minister David Cameron as she arrives for the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. NATO leaders grappled Thursday with whether the alliance has a role in containing a mounting militant threat in the Middle East, as heads of state converged in Wales for a high-stakes summit also focused on the crisis in Ukraine and next steps in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, speaks with Jordan's King Abdullah before taking their seats at the start of a NATO-Afghanistan round table meeting during a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day summit leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, speak before taking their seats at the start of a NATO-Afghanistan round table meeting during a NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day summit leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
US President Barack Obama delivers a statement before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. France and Britain have agreed to support US humanitarian efforts to help tens of thousands of civilians besieged by militants on a mountain in Iraq, President Obama said Saturday. 'Both leaders expressed strong support for actions and agreed to join us in providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqis suffering so much,' Obama told reporters at the White House after speaking by telephone with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday that Washington informed Damascus' envoy to the United Nations before launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, attacks that activists said inflicted casualties among jihadi fighters and civilians on the ground.

A brief ministry statement, carried by Syrian state media, said "the American side informed Syria's permanent envoy to the U.N. that strikes will be launched against the Daesh terrorist organization in Raqqa."

The statement used an Arabic name referring to the Islamic State group, which seized large chunks of Syrian and Iraqi territory in a blitz this summer.

The airstrikes hit targets in and around the Syrian city of Raqqa and the province with the same name as well as the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, activists said, adding that there were casualties among Islamic State militants on the ground. The city of Raqqa is the militant group's self-declared capital in Syria.

The activists said the strikes did not only target the Islamic State group but also the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

The ministry statement was Damascus' first official reaction after the U.S. and five Arab countries launched airstrikes on Islamic State group's targets in Syria late on Monday, expanding a military campaign into a country whose three-year civil war has given the brutal militant group a safe haven.

U.S. officials said the airstrikes began around 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 GMT) Monday, and were conducted by the U.S., Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

In Jordan, a government spokesman confirmed the Jordanian air force took part in the airstrikes, saying they were necessary to secure the stability and security of Jordan.

"We think it's necessary for us to target the positions of the Islamic State group in light of the continuous attempts to infiltrate our borders," said Mohammad al-Momani. "We will not hesitate to take further actions to target and kill terrorists who are trying to attack our country."

In the past, Syrian officials have insisted that any strikes against the Islamic State group in the country should come only after coordination with Damascus. Without their consent, Syrian officials have said such airstrikes would be an act of aggression against Syria and a breach of the country's sovereignty.

However, U.S. officials have ruled out direct coordination with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the airstrikes targeted the northern province of Raqqa, its provincial capital, as well as the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, which border's Iraq, and the northern village of Kfar Derian between the northern province of Aleppo and Idlib.

"There is confirmed information that there are casualties among Islamic State group members," he told The Associated Press, adding there were an unspecified number of casualties among the militants, mostly on checkpoints manned by the Islamic State fighters.

The Observatory, which has a network of activists around the country, said the attacks came after drones flew over areas under control of the Islamic State group. Abdurrahman said about 22 airstrikes in all hit Raqqa province.

He said that other strikes included locations in the towns of Tabqa and Ein Issa in Raqqa province, as well as the border town of Tel Abyad on the border with Turkey.

Missiles also targeted the village of Kfar Derian, a base for the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State group, he said. The U.S. strikes targeted three compounds belonging to the Nusra Front there, killing seven fighters and eight civilians, he added.

Another activist, Mohammed al-Dughaim, based in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, confirmed the Kfar Derian strikes. He said there were civilians among the casualties.

An amateur video posted online Tuesday shows explosions going off at night in an open area, blasts that are said to be from coalition airstrikes. The narrator in the video is heard saying that the footage shows the "bombardment of the Kfar Derian village." The narrator then adds "Allahu Akbar" or "God is great" in Arabic. The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events.

An anti-militant media collective entitled "Raqqa is being silently slaughtered" said that the targets included the governorate building or municipality used by Islamic State militants as their headquarters, and the Brigade 93, a Syrian army base that the militants recently seized.

Other airstrikes targeted a military air base recently captured by jihadi fighters in the town of Tabqa as well as the town of Tel Abyad on the border with Turkey.

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Associated Press writers Diaa Hadid in Beirut, Zeina Karam in New York and video journalist Omar Akour in Amman, Jordan contributed to this report.

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Mroue reported from Beirut.

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