Baghdad, IRAQ – Iraqi warplanes carried out an airstrike on an Islamic State (IS) command center inside Syria, the Joint Operations Command was quoted as saying Monday, Iraqi News reports.

“Acting on intelligence reports, the Iraqi F-16 warplanes destroyed a building used by the IS group as a command and logistics support center in southern al-Deshisha area in Syria,” the command said in a statement.

The air raid was launched upon directives by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the statement read. No further details were given, but the center said more information about the result of the airstrike will be released later.

The Iraqi air force has already carried out several air strikes against Islamic State in Syria since last year, with the approval of the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad and the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi military in coordination with U.S.-backed Syrian forces have announced arresting five top Islamic State leaders and killing 40 others in a major operation in Syria, saying those militants took part in attacks against Anbar and Mosul.

A statement on Friday by the Security Media Center said “a major operation was carried out upon commands from the commander in chief of the armed forces, Haidar al-Abadi, and in collaboration with the Iraqi intelligence service and the Joint Operations Command. The operation resulted in arresting two ISIS leaders who took part in attacks against Anbar and Mosul.

The arrested were Saddam Omar Yehia al-Jamal, known as Abu Ruqaia al-Ansari, and Mohamed Hussein Hadar, known as Abu Saif al-Shouaity, according to the statement. In addition to “Essam abdul Qadir Ashour al-Zawbaie, known as Abu Abdul Haq al-Iraqi, Omar Shihab Hammad al-Karbouli, known as Abu Hafs al-Karbouli, Ismail Elwan Salman al-Eithawi, known as Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, who is one of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s aides.”

The arrests “were carried out in Syria in the border area with Iraq in the wake of an intelligence information.

According to investigations with them, crucial information were used to carry out an airstrike that targeted a meeting for the group’s so-called war authority, “which resulted in killing around 40 leaders, on top of them were Omar Abd Hamad al-Fahdawi, known as Abu Tareq al-Fahdawi, Abu Walid al-Sinawi, Abu Islam al-Kurdi, Ahmed Yehia Zidan,” in addition to others.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced arresting five ‘most wanted’ Islamic State members, without giving further details.

Iraq had previously announced launching airstrikes against IS locations in Syria. This came after Abadi said security troops will follow IS militants in the whole region, not only in Iraq.

The Iraqi-Syrian borders are under the control of joint troops of military and border guards.

Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.

Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.



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