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Iraqi aircraft target Daesh commanders in northeastern Syria

This file picture shows an F-16 fighter jet operated by the Iraqi Air Force.

Iraqi military aircraft have carried out an airstrike against high-profile members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had pledged to continue airstrikes on the positions and headquarters of the extremists in the neighboring war-battered country.

Abadi’s office said in a statement that the 66-year-old prime had ordered the “painful strike” which targeted “a meeting of Daesh commanders south of al-Dushashiya desert region in Syrian territory. The position was completely destroyed.”

Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool later stated that F-16 fighter jets were used in the early morning strike, and the raid was “successful.”

“Iraq will continue air strikes in Syria and will do more to eliminate Daesh group. It will neither allow Daesh militants to come back, nor a similar terrorist organization to appear, but Iraq doesn't mean to interfere in internal affairs of Syria,” Abadi stated on April 30.

Lieutenant General Anwar Hama Amin, the commanding officer of the Iraqi Air Force, has said Iraqi military aircraft will press ahead with their aerial attacks against Daesh strongholds in Syria.

“All the countries in the world are fighting against the terrorist organization. Today we have a Joint Operations Command in Iraq and we have a commander-in-chief. When they issue orders of strikes, we will implement them without hesitation,” he commented.

Iraqi authorities have on occasions stated that they work closely with the Syrian government to monitor and target terrorist targets based on the efforts of intelligence and information departments of the security coordination committee formed between Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran and Moscow years ago, as well as coordination with the so-called US-led anti-Daesh coalition.

“If we perform a strike, we will coordinate with the international coalition, the joint security center and all the relevant parties. As we work together, we follow the principle of partnership to ensure safety and harmony between allies,” Iraqi Ministry of Defense spokesman Tahseen al-Khafaji said late last month.

On April 23, intelligence sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language Shafaaq news agency that Daesh second-in-command had been killed during an Iraqi airstrike inside the Syrian territory.

The top-ranked extremist, identified by the nom de guerre Abu Luqman al-Suri, was killed in the attack. He was the deputy of purported Daesh leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The sources added that Suri was “in charge of recruiting attackers and dispatching them to Iraq to carry out bomb attacks there.”

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