Iraqi warplanes shell IS militants in Syria's al-Dashisha area
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Iraqi warplanes on Sunday targeted Islamic State (IS) militants inside Syria directly following an order by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi.
Iraqi airforces shelled the IS bases in al-Dashisha area in Syria, located near the Iraqi border, according to the Iraqi Prime Minister's media office.
Over the past two years, Iraqi jets have often carried out cross-border operations against IS positions in the neighboring country.
The latest bombardment was on April 19, as Iraqi F-16 jets targeted the jihadist group near the city of Hajin in coordination with the Syrian government.
“We are carrying out airstrikes on Da'esh on Syrian soil because of the danger IS poses to Iraq, and is also proof of the improved capabilities of our armed forces,” the Iraqi military previously said in a statement, using the pejorative Arabic acronym for IS.
Both the Syrian and Iraqi governments have been fighting the jihadist group since its emergence in 2014 after it took over large swaths of territory in the two fragile countries.
Earlier in April, Iraqi Premier stated that his country would “take all necessary measures [against IS] if they threaten the security of Iraq.” The jihadist group, just three years ago, overran a third of Iraq.
Abadi declared final victory over IS in December, but the extremist group still poses a threat to different parts of the country as it carries out ambushes, assassinations, and bombings.
In 2017, Iraqi jets carried out at least one strike on IS targets inside Syria, also in coordination with the coalition and with the approval of the Syrian government.
Baghdad has good relations with Iran and Russia, the Syrian Regime’s main backers in the seven-year-old Syrian civil war, while also enjoying strong support from the coalition.
Editing by Nadia Riva