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Iraq says it carried out air raid against IS group in Syria

AFP , Thursday 19 Apr 2018
Iraq Air Force
A handout picture provided by the Iraqi Air Force on April 19, 2018 shows a F16 fighter jet at un undisclosed location in Iraq. The Iraqi air force on April 19, 2018 carried out a "deadly raid" against positions of the Islamic State group in neighbouring Syria, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said. (SOURCE: AFP)
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The Iraqi air force on Thursday carried out a "deadly raid" against positions of the Islamic State group in neighbouring Syria, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said.

Abadi ordered the strike against the jihadists "because of the danger they pose to Iraqi territory," a statement said.

A video released by the air force showed two F-16 fighter jets in action.

"These raids demonstrate the growing capacity of our armed forces to hunt down and liquidate terrorists," it added.

The US-led coalition fighting IS said the air strike targeted an area of eastern Syria's Deir Ezzor province near Hajin, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the border with Iraq.

The strike, carried out with intelligence support from the coalition, "demonstrates Iraq's commitment to destroy Daesh (IS) remnants who continue to threaten their citizens", said Brigadier General Robert B. Sofge, deputy commander of coalition operations.

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

The jihadists still control pockets of desert along the border with Syria, where Iraq had already carried out limited raids against IS before Thursday's strike.

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