“The strike by the Iraqi Air Force against terrorist positions on the territory of Syria was carried out in full coordination with the Syrian government,” Al-Watan newspaper reported citing sources.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had ordered the launch of airstrikes against ISIL in Syria. According to him, the operation was linked to recent attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
“We have sent the Iraqi Air Force to carry out strikes on ISIL positions… inside the Syrian territory,” Abadi said, adding that “We are determined to chase terrorism that tries to kill our sons and citizens wherever it is found.”
The attack on terrorist positions in Syria’s Al-Bukamal city near the border with Iraq has been carried out as a part of the operation to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, which has been under ISIL’s control since June 2014.
The Iraqi Army started a fresh round of military operation in Nineveh province on Sunday to drive the ISIL terrorists out of their bastion in the Western part of the city of Mosul.
With half the city under the control of Baghdad forces, the Iraqi Armed Forces will likely face heavier resistance in the Western part of Mosul, as the ISIL attempts to hold onto their final positions.
Local sources had disclosed that the ISIL is preventing civilians in the Western part of the city of Mosul from leaving the region in a move to use them as human shields as the terrorist group’s positions are under intensifying attacks by various troops.
The Iraqi defense ministry announced earlier in January that the ISIL terrorist group has lost over 50 percent of its militants in the city of Mosul in Nineveh province as Iraqi troops have managed to recapture the Eastern part of the de facto Capital of the ISIL.
“The intelligence obtained by us indicates that there have been over 6,000 ISIL terrorists in Mosul and around 3,400 of them have been killed in battles with Iraq’s joint military forces in the major city of Nineveh province,” Iraqi Defense Ministry Spokesman Colonel Laith al-Naimi said.
He added that over 250 bomb-laden vehicles and the entire bomb-making workshops of the terrorists have been destroyed in Mosul which means that the ISIL has been paralyzed by the Iraqi forces.
Abadi had announced on October 17, the start of a military operation to recapture Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq which fell to the ISIL since 2014.