The airstrikes, officials said, were in the province of al-Baitha in areas militants have used as bases for launching attacks, CNN reported.
"Al-Qaida is trying to build a stronghold in al-Baitha and it is in the beginning stages. We are trying to eliminate their presence while it is still possible and easy," an official told CNN. The U.S. broadcaster said the official asked that his name not be revealed.
Residents say military aircraft frequently fly over al-Baitha.
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