U.S. jet fighters hit artillery being used by the militant group called the Islamic State in northern Iraq on Friday, the first of what is expected to be a series of American strikes meant to halt the Sunni extremist advance on the Kurdish capital of Erbil, the Pentagon said.

The U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters dropped 500 pound laser-guided bombs on mobile-artillery positions outside Erbil, said Pentagon press secretary, Rear. Adm. John Kirby.

Defense officials said one artillery piece, towed by a truck, was destroyed in the strike. But officials wouldn’t predict Friday if the limited first strike presaged a broader, lengthier campaign.

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