Iraq says it killed 36 ‘IS terrorists’ in Syria raid

Members of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division are photographed with an Islamic State flag, claimed after fighting with IS militants in western Mosul, last year. (Reuters pic)

BAGHDAD: Iraq said Sunday its forces had killed “36 terrorists” belonging to the Islamic State jihadist group, including senior members, in air raids this past week in Syria.

A video of Thursday’s operation showed two F-16 fighter jets destroying a house in eastern Syria.

“The Iraqi air raids, carried out by several F-16s in Syria on April 19, targeted IS terrorists who represented a danger to Iraq,” said General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which coordinates the fight against IS in Iraq.

“According to our information, the raids took place while there was a meeting of terrorist leaders and it achieved its goal with the death of 36 of them,” he said.

The US-led coalition battling IS jihadists confirmed the raid, which took place near the town of Hajin in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, about 50km from the Iraqi border.

“These raids prove Iraq’s commitment to destroy the remnants of IS that continue to threaten citizens,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said on Thursday, adding that the operation was planned and executed by JOC, with support from the coalition.