By Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

U.S. fighter jets have begun pounding artillery held by the al Qaeda-inspired militants in northern Iraq with laser guided bombs, a senior Defense Department official said Friday.

“At approximately 6:45 a.m. EDT, the U.S. military conducted a targeted airstrike against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, a top Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.

“Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil,” Rear Adm. Kirby said. “ISIL was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil where U.S. personnel are located.”