BAGHDAD, May 6 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Air Force on Sunday carried out an airstrike on a position of the Islamic State (IS) militants inside Syria near the border with Iraq, the Iraqi government said.
A brief statement, issued by the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said “the heroes of the Iraqi air force carried out painful airstrike against a position for leaders of the terrorist Daesh (IS group) in al-Deshisha area inside Syria.”
On April 19, Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, ordered Iraqi F-16 fighter jets to carry out airstrikes on IS positions inside Syria near the border with Iraq, leaving 36 IS militants killed, including five of the group’s leaders.
On April 26, Abadi pledged to continue airstrikes on positions and headquarters of the IS inside neighboring Syria, asserting that Iraq will not interfere in Syrian affairs.
“Iraq will not allow IS terrorists to regroup in Iraq, as they will not find breeding ground inside Iraq anymore,” Abadi told reporters in Baghdad.
He said that IS group has suffered fiasco in both Iraq and Syria, but the complex situation in Syria and the ongoing conflict on the ground gave a breathing chance for IS in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq.
Previously, the Iraqi air force carried out such preemptive airstrikes against IS militants inside Syria with Iraqi F-16 fighter jets.
On Dec. 9, 2017, Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.