NEW YORK — The United States and France will begin air operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, U.S. and French military officials announced Saturday.
The United Nations says more than 500,000 people have been killed in the war.
The announcement came in the aftermath of a series of Russian airstrikes that were carried out on Thursday in Syria.
The U.N. says more more than half of those deaths were civilians.
In the first airstrike of the Russian campaign in Syria, Russian planes struck a rebel-held town of al-Tanf, near Aleppo, killing at least 23 people, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
S.-led coalition warplanes have been bombing the Islamic Republic’s military, while the Syrian military has been using its air defenses to target Islamic State militants and U.P. forces.
The war in Syria has killed more than 200,000, according to the United Nations.
The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is considered the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world.
The group has seized swathes of territory across Syria and Iraq, where it has captured large swaths of territory and taken control of vast swaths in both countries.
In Iraq, the group has declared a caliphate and has killed thousands of civilians.
ISIS has seized large swathes in both Iraq and in neighboring Syria.