Iraq launches air strikes on IS targets in Syria

Iraq launches air strikes on IS targets in Syria
Baghdad claims Iraqi F16s hit and destroyed buildings containing IS militants and weapons in eastern Syria.
2 min read
20 November, 2018
Iraqi F16 fired on IS positions across the border in Syria [Anadolu]
Iraqi F16 fighter jets destroyed a weapons store and militant hideout for the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, the military said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The successful operation led to the destruction of a weapons warehouse... that contained ten terrorists, rockets, and explosives belonging to Daesh (IS) gangs," the statement read, according to Reuters.

Iraq claims the first strikes on Tuesday destroyed a weapons depot, killing ten IS fighters.

A secondary wave of airstrikes hit a building housing 30 militants over the border in Syria.

Iraq has carried out a number of airstrikes in eastern Syria since the rise of the Islamic State group in 2014 with the approval of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The militants overran huge parts of Iraq and Syria in that year, threatening the capital Baghdad itself, until Iraqi militias and the army managed to fight back.

IS managed to take advantage of controlling the Syria-Iraq frontier, and operated on both sides of the border.

Since their defeat in Iraq this year and a series of major defeats to US-led forces in Syria, the group now controls just a small sliver of territory along the Euphrates River in eastern Syria's Deir az-Zour province.

They are under attack from Syrian regime forces and the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

Despite the set-backs, IS have managed to launch bomb attacks, assassinations and kidnappings in Iraq, particularly outside the Shia south and capital Baghdad which benefit from tighter security.

IS has concentrated on gaining ground by launching guerilla attacks on Iraqi military and civilians in north and western Iraq.