Iraq said on Sunday (May 31) its air force carried out air strikes against Islamic State militants in western and northern Iraq.The Ministry of Defense said in a press release that planes of Iraqi air force conducted a number of air strikes in the western province of Anbar and Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. The statement indicated that the air strikes damaged headquarters and equipment of the militants of the Islamic States, killing a large number of militants.Video released by the ministry showed planes targeting a group of men believed to be fighters of the Islamic State, houses and military vehicles.Meanwhile the United States and its allies carried out 17 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in a 24-hour period in their latest attacks on the group, the Combined Joint Task Force said on Sunday.Thirteen of the strikes were near the Iraqi cities of Ramadi, Baghdadi, Bayji, Fallujah, Makhmur, Mosul, Sinjar and Tal Afar. In Syria, the targets were near Kobani and Al Hasakah.Islamic State tactical units, fighting positions, buildings, vehicles and mortar systems were hit in the strikes, the task force said in a statement.
The town's loss is a blow to rebels grouped in the so-called Jabhat al-Shamiyya alliance (Levant Front), because the area sits on an important supply route to bring weapons into eastern Aleppo, two fighters said."The main supply line between Turkey and Aleppo will be severely affected," said Abu Bakr, an alliance field commander, said in a online message.A video posted on the internet appears to show Islamic State fighters guarding a checkpoint at the entrance to Soran Azaz and waving the group's black flag. Other fighters are seen burning a flag said to represent Jabhat al-Shamiyya alliance.Reuters cannot independently verify the content of this video, which was obtained from a social media website.The Levant Front was created in Aleppo in an effort to forge unity among factions in Syria that have often fought each other as well as the Syrian army and hardline jihadist groups.Rebels said the Islamic State gains had upset plans for a wider offensive that was being prepared ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to seize government-controlled parts of Aleppo.Residents in eastern Aleppo said convoys of rebel fighters were now heading back to areas in the Soran countryside to try to repel Islamic State. The west of the city is held by government forces.Islamic State's next stop could be Syria's Azaz city, 10 km (6 miles) further north east and a gateway to the border crossing close by, the Observatory added.
Syrian insurgents pushed back by ISIS