BEIRUT — Turkish leaders pledged further action against the Islamic State on Friday after Turkish jets bombed Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time, opening an important new front in the war against the militants.

The strikes early Friday came after U.S. and Turkish officials said Turkey had agreed to allow the United States to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State from Turkish territory, a major strategic shift aimed at facilitating more extensive attacks against the militants in their northern Syria strongholds.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday confirmed the government’s decision to grant access to Turkish bases to “manned and unmanned aircraft from the U.S. and other coalition countries.”

Turkey had refrained from full participation in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State since last summer, citing a range of concerns that the Obama administration’s strategy did not adequately address the complexity of the Syrian war.

Recent events, including gains by both the Islamic State and Syrian Kurds along the Turkish border, as well as signs that the Islamic State is gaining a deeper foothold inside Turkey, appear to have galvanized Turkey to act.

“We have entered a very difficult struggle,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, according to local media reports.

“This is not an operation limited to only tonight, and it will continue in a determined way in the coming period, too,” he said.

The Turkish strikes could potentially draw the country’s NATO-allied forces deeper into the Syrian conflict and risk retaliation at home from the militants, who have long used Turkey as a transit route into Syria and Iraq.

On Thursday, Islamic State fighters shot and killed a Turkish soldier on the border, prompting Turkish troops to retaliate with artillery fire and then airstrikes.

A statement from the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said three Turkish F-16s struck two Islamic State headquarters and a gathering of fighters Friday shortly before 4 a.m. local time.

“The state of the Republic of Turkey is decisive in taking any precaution to safeguard its national security,” the statement said.

A Turkish official told The Associated Press that Turkey did not violate Syrian airspace – suggesting that the planes skimmed the border – and fired on the Islamic State positions from the Turkish border province of Kilis.

Hours later, thousands of Turkish police launched raids against suspected Islamic State, Kurdish and leftist militants in towns across the country, a sign of Turkey’s concerns that its deeper engagement in Syria could prompt domestic terrorism at home. One person was killed and 297 detained nationwide, the government said.