Iraqi air force hits Islamic State inside Syria for first time

By REUTERS
February 24, 2017 21:10
1 minute read.
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BAGHDAD - Iraqi warplanes have struck Islamic State targets inside Syria in retaliation for recent bomb attacks in Baghdad by the group, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Friday.

It appeared to be the first time Iraqi jets have conducted such raids across the border. A Syrian source said the strikes had been coordinated with Damascus.

Islamic State, which is now on the defensive after losing control of eastern Mosul in Iraq to a US-backed Iraqi military offensive, has claimed responsibility for several car bombs in Baghdad in the capital in the past few weeks.

"We are determined to chase terrorism that tries to kill our sons and citizens, wherever it is found, so we gave orders to the air force command to strike Islamic State positions in (the Iraqi town of) Hosaiba and Albu Kamal inside Syrian territory as they were responsible for recent bombings in Baghdad," Abadi said in a statement.

"The heroes of the sky executed the operation and responded to the terrorists with amazing success."

A military statement said the strikes had taken place on Friday morning using F16 fighter jets and had destroyed Islamic State headquarters in Albu Kamal.


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