Abadi vows to continue air raids against IS targets in Syria
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday said his country’s forces would continue to carry out cross-border strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria.
“We will continue to carry out airstrikes against IS. We will do even more,” Abadi said during his weekly press briefing, stressing Iraq did not “want to intervene in Syrian affairs.”
“The Syrian people should have self-determination. They are the ones who decide their fate,” the Iraqi Prime Minister added.
According to Abadi, the complexity of the Syrian crisis and the escalation of fighting in the country has allowed IS to regroup and launch attacks. He promised to continue operations against the group inside and outside Iraq.
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.
Iraqi F-16 warplanes crossed into Syria on April 19 to carry out an attack on IS targets near the city of Hajin in coordination with the Syrian government, a statement from Abadi’s office had informed.
On April 22, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense revealed that the air raid had killed 36 members of the extremist group, including prominent IS leaders.
“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.
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 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.