Iraqi Jets Strike ISIS Positions in Syria

Iraqi Jets Strike ISIS Positions in Syria

Friday, 25 May, 2018 - 11:30
Iraq announced that it had struck ISIS positions in neighboring Syria. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Iraqi jets carried out air strikes against ISIS positions in Syria, its operations command said in a statement on Friday.

"Iraqi F-16 planes carried out (Thursday) morning raids against the headquarters of ISIS terrorist gang leaders and an explosives depot occupied by terrorists in Syria's Hajin region," it announced.

This marks Iraq’s third cross border aerial operation inside a month in its war-torn neighbor.

A video released with the text shows a strike on a huge building surrounded by palm trees and a wall.
The images show the wall and the building collapsing simultaneously.

The statement said both sites were completely destroyed, but gave no other details.

Several strikes have been carried out by Iraq or the international coalition since Thursday against the center of Hajin, the last major area held by ISIS in Syria, confirmed the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

At least 65 senior ISIS leaders live in Hajin, the Observatory's director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Hajin is in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, about 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) from Iraq's border.

It has been surrounded since the end of 2017 by the Syrian Democratic Forces, Abdel Rahman said.

Several hundred prisoners are still held by the terrorists in Hajin, he added.

Since April, Iraq's air force has carried out several air strikes on ISIS-held Syrian territory close to the border between the two countries.

The Iraqi air strikes are believed to be coordinated with Syrian authorities, Russia's military, which has troops and warplanes deployed in Syria, as well as the US-led coalition that has waged an air campaign against ISIS since 2014.

ISIS seized a third of Iraq in 2014, before the government declared victory in December, but the military has continued regular operations along the porous Syrian border.

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