The USS Harry Truman, a Navy aircraft carrier, is now in the eastern Mediterranean conducting air strikes against the Islamic State, a Navy official confirmed to Fox News.
“This is showing the U.S. Navy can conduct flight operations (against ISIS) from other locations, not just the (Persian) Gulf,” the official said Friday.
F/A-18 Hornets launched from Truman conducted strikes against ISIS targets in Syria, according to a senior defense official familiar with the operation.
The Navy strike fighters flew over Turkey for a majority of the flight, the official added to minimize exposure to Russian air defenses now operational in western Syria along the Mediterranean coast, the official added.
The U.S. Navy did not alert Russian or Syrian officials before conducting the strike operations against the Islamic State, Fox News is told.
The Russians have set up an S-400 fourth-generation surface-to-air missile system in Syria late last year.
Truman and her escort ships transited the Suez Canal, Thursday according to the Navy.
It was the first time the Navy conducting strike missions in the Middle East from the Mediterranean Sea since flying operations against the Iraqi military in 2003.
Truman will be relieved by another aircraft carrier, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower next month.
"While the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is in the 6th Fleet area of operations, they continue to project power ashore against terrorists and violent extremists," said Vice Adm. James Foggo III, Commander, in a statement from U.S. 6th Fleet. "This exemplifies our Navy's mobility, flexibility and adaptability, as well as our commitment to execute a full range of military operations in concert with our indispensable European Allies and partners," he added.
The strike group consists of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8, USS Anzio (CG 68), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and USS Gravely (DDG 107).
Truman has been launching fighter jets to conduct strikes against ISIS from the Persian Gulf since December.