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Iraq Opens Air Passage for Anti-IS Coalition, Excluding UAE: Iraqi Prime Minister

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The Iraqi government has opened an air corridor for jets from the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS), with the exception of aircraft belonging to the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister of Iraq Haider Abadi said Saturday.

BAGHDAD, October 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Iraqi government has opened an air corridor for jets from the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS), with the exception of aircraft belonging to the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister of Iraq Haider Abadi said Saturday.

“The government has allowed overflight of coalition aircraft along the southern border [of Iraq], away from the cities, into Syria. Overflight permission has been denied to UAE military aircraft,” Abadi is cited as saying by Iraq’s AIN news agency.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni Islamist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control.

The United States and a number of its allies have been carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq since August. In September, the US-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates, started conducting attacks against the IS in Syria.

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