World, Middle East

Iraqi warplanes strike Daesh positions in Syria

For first time, Iraqi military aircraft strike Daesh targets outside Iraqi territory

24.02.2017
Iraqi warplanes strike Daesh positions in Syria FILE PHOTO

Amir al-Saadi

BAGHDAD 

Iraqi warplanes have struck a number of sites associated with the Daesh terrorist group inside Syrian territory, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Friday.

“We ordered our air force to strike terrorist targets in Husaybah [in Iraq’s western Anbar province] and in Abu Kamal inside Syria,” al-Abadi said in a statement broadcast on state television.

Located on the Euphrates River near the Iraqi border, the city of Abu Kamal is in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province.

According to al-Abadi, the targeted sites -- both in Iraq and Syria -- had served as “staging areas” for recent terrorist attacks in Baghdad.

“These sites were the staging areas for the recent terrorist bombings in the capital,” the prime minister asserted.

Last week, Daesh claimed responsibility for a massive car bomb that killed dozens of people in Baghdad’s eastern Al-Bayaa district.

Iraqi warplanes had struck their targets “with great success”, al-Abadi said without elaborating.

In a statement issued Friday morning, the Iraqi army’s Joint Operations Command confirmed that Iraqi F-16s had struck several Daesh targets inside Syrian territory.

It is the first time for Iraqi military aircraft to target Daesh positions outside of Iraq since the terrorist group overran vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria in mid-2014.

The army statement also linked the targeted sites to recent terrorist attacks in Baghdad.

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