SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Prime Minister of Iraq on Wednesday said Iraqi forces would continue to strike Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and neighboring countries.
During a conference in the Sulaimani Province of the Kurdistan Region, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated his forces were ready to attack IS positions in Syria.
“I respect the sovereignty of states, and I have secured the approval of Syria to strike positions [on its territory],” he explained.
“I will not hesitate to strike the positions of [insurgents] in the neighboring countries, we will keep on fighting them,” the PM added.
On Feb. 24, Abadi announced the first air strike in Syrian territory by Iraqi forces.
The air strike was conducted in response to several IS bomb attacks in Baghdad, according to the Iraqi PM.
“We are determined to follow the terrorism that is trying to kill our sons and our citizens everywhere,” Abadi continued.
The February attack was coordinated with Russian, Syrian, and Iranian forces using shared intelligence, according to Iraqi Defense Ministry Spokesman Brigadier General Tahseen Ibrahim.
According to Abadi, the total damage to infrastructure and property caused by the insurgents exceeded USD $35 billion.
The militant group emerged in Iraq in 2014 and began controlling large parts of the country in the north and west.
On Oct. 17, 2016, Iraqi security and Peshmerga forces launched an offensive to drive the extremist group from Mosul, their last stronghold in Iraq.
The forces have since freed the western part of the city and operations to liberate the East are ongoing.
Editing by Ava Homa