02:23 GMT +322 September 2019
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    One of the two recently delivered F-16 fighter jets from the US is seen on the tarmac at Iraq's Balad air base in the Salaheddin province, north of the capital Baghdad, on July 20, 2015

    Iraq Air Force Conducts Anti-Daesh Strikes in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / SABAH ARAR
    Middle East
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    Daesh troops invaded Iraq in 2014 and seized control of its second largest city, Mosul. Iraq officially declared victory over Daesh* on December 9, 2017, after the last of its fighters were driven from the country and control over the border with Syria was restored.

    The Iraqi prime minister's office has reported that the country's air force conducted "deadly" airstrikes against Daesh* positions in Syria on April 19. The office also declared that the strikes will help eradicate terrorism in the region after it was driven out of Iraq. The statement by the PM's office says the strikes were aimed at neutralizing the threat from the group towards Iraq.

    Iraqi military spokesman Tahseen Khafaji reported that these strikes were coordinated with the Syrian government, Russia and Iran and added that Iraq will continue such operations, if it receives intelligence on existing threats coming from terrorist groups. He shared that F-16 jets were used to deliver the strikes. Lebanese TV channel Al-Masdar reported that at least five strikes had been carried out in Deir ez-Zor province. The strikes targeted plants belonging to terrorists for the manufacture of explosives and their commanders in areas east of the Euphrates. The ministry of defense noted that these strikes were not part of the international coalition's operations.

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

    READ MORE: Iraqi PM Declares Victory Over Daesh After Control of Border With Syria Restored

    Daesh invaded Iraq in 2014, capturing several cities, including the second largest city of Mosul, which became its capital in the country. By summer 2017, the Iraqi military, backed by their US allies, managed to liberate the city from the terrorist group. Iraq officially declared victory over Daesh on December 9, 2017 after the last of the terrorists were driven from the country and the Iraqi military regained control over the country's border with Syria.

    READ MORE: Syrian State Media Accuses Riyadh of Sponsoring 'Terror Ideology in Syria, Iraq'

    Daesh has been almost completely driven out of Syria due to the joint efforts of Syrian army and Russian military forces that were officially invited by Damascus to assist in its fight against terrorism. The international US-led coalition, which conducts operations on Syrian territory without permission from the country's government or a UN mandate, has also contributed to fighting Daesh, but Damascus currently considers cities captured by the US or its allies occupied.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia


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