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Iraq says its warplanes targeted Daesh militants in Syria

By AFP - May 06,2018 - Last updated at May 06,2018

Lieutenant General Mohammed Al Askari, the military adviser to the Iraqi ministry of defence, talks to AFP at his office in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Sunday (AFP photo)

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi warplanes carried out a raid on Sunday targeting Daesh group commanders in eastern Syria, in the second such strike on the extremists since mid-April, the premier's office said.

Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi ordered the "painful strike" which targeted "a meeting of Daesh commanders south of Al Dushashiya in Syrian territory", a statement said.

F-16 fighter jets were used in the early morning strike and the raid was "successful", the spokesman of Iraq's security media centre, General Yehya Rassoul, told AFP.

Dushashiya is in a desert region of Syria's Hasakeh province, where a US-backed Kurdish-led alliance is fighting the extremists.

"After receiving information on the target in cooperation with Syria's government and in coordination with coalition forces [led by the US], F-16s from the Iraqi air force led strikes against a command post of Daesh, 10 kilometres from the Iraqi border inside Syria," said General Mohammad Al Askari, an adviser to Iraq's defence ministry.

"This attack took place following a meeting of several Daesh commanders who were planning terrorist operations on Syrian or Iraqi territory," he said.

The target "was completely destroyed and all the officials there were killed", he said, without giving a death toll.

Askari also said Iraq hosts a centre that co-ordinates military activity with Iran, Russia and Syria "against Daesh".

"This is not the last strike in Syria. They will continue, in relation to the activities of Daesh."

A week ago, Abadi told the media that Iraq would carry out air strikes against Daesh outside the country's own borders.

On April 19, Iraq said it had carried out an air raid against Daesh in Syria that killed 36 Daesh fighters, near the town of Hajin in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Iraq declared victory in December against Daesh, which launched a sweeping offensive in 2014 and at one point controlled a third of the country.

The militants still control pockets of desert along the border with Syria.

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