Japan has conducted four air strikes on ISIS targets east of the Euphrates river in Syria in a show of force against the Islamic State group, Japanese media reported Tuesday.
Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said the strikes targeted ISIS targets on the Syrian side of the border, where the Japanese military is training and equipping Syrian rebels, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.
Inada’s statement was carried by NHK and carried a Japanese caption.
The strikes came amid growing calls by the United States for Japan to take the lead in a military campaign against the extremists, who have seized swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
A U.N. report on the conflict said last month that Japan had conducted more than 1,400 air strikes against the militants since October.