Iraq announces killing of 36 IS members in Syria airstrikes
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Sunday revealed it had killed 36 members of the Islamic State (IS) in a rare cross-border operation in Syria last week.
“These strikes have achieved their objectives. We were able to locate the terrorist elements based on the information of the Directorate of Military Intelligence. The impact of these strikes killed 36 terrorists, including leaders,” Iraqi military spokesperson Yahya Rasool said in a statement.
He also announced the identities of the prominent IS leaders who were killed: Abu Islam, Abu Tareq al-Hamdani, Abu Mariam al-Akkawi, Abu Hussein, Abu Yasser, and Abu Jaafar.
The statement did not mention the positions held by these leaders but pointed out they were a “threat to Iraq.”
Iraqi F-16 warplanes crossed into Syria on Thursday to carry out the attack near the city of Hajin in coordination with the Syrian government, a statement from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said.
“The strikes were aimed at accelerating the elimination of the militant organization in the region after its military defeat in Iraq,” it read.
“Carrying out air strikes on [IS] gangs in Syrian territories is because of the dangers posed by said gangs to Iraqi territories and is proof of the improved capabilities of our armed forces,” the Iraqi military said in a statement following the strikes.
Iraq’s Air Force has carried out air strikes against IS in Syria before. In 2017, the Iraqi government announced that the cross-border air raids were launched in coordination with Assad’s government.
Iraq has witnessed an IS resurgence of its own in recent weeks with the group claiming a string of bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in areas previously liberated by Iraqi forces.