Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has pledged to continue airstrikes on the positions and headquarters of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group inside neighboring Syria, stressing that Baghdad will not meddle in the political affairs of the Damascus government.
“Iraq will continue air strikes in Syria and will do more to eliminate Daesh group. It will neither allow Daesh militants to come back, nor a similar terrorist organization to appear, but Iraq doesn’t mean to interfere in internal affairs of Syria,” Abadi stated on Tuesday.
Lieutenant General Anwar Hama Amin, the commanding officer of the Iraqi Air Force, also noted that Iraqi military aircraft will press ahead with their aerial attacks against Daesh strongholds in Syria.
“All the countries in the world are fighting against the terrorist organization. Today we have a Joint Operations Command in Iraq and we have a commander-in-chief. When they issue orders of strikes, we will implement them without hesitation,” he commented.
Iraqi authorities have on occasions stated that they work closely with the Syrian government to monitor and target terrorist targets based on the efforts of intelligence and information departments of the security coordination committee formed between Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran and Moscow years ago, as well as coordination with the so-called US-led anti-Daesh coalition.
“If we perform a strike, we will coordinate with the international coalition, the joint security center and all the relevant parties. As we work together, we follow the principle of partnership to ensure safety and harmony between allies,” Iraqi Ministry of Defense spokesman Tahseen al-Khafaji said on Tuesday.
On April 23, intelligence sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language Shafaaq news agency that Daesh second-in-command had been killed during an Iraqi airstrike inside the Syrian territory.
The top-ranked extremist, identified by the nom de guerre Abu Luqman al-Suri, was killed in the attack. He was the deputy of purported Daesh leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The sources added that Suri was “in charge of recruiting attackers and dispatching them to Iraq to carry out bomb attacks there.”
On December 9, 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.
“Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh,” Abadi told a conference in Baghdad then.
The Iraqi prime minister said on August 31 that Tal Afar and the entire Nineveh province had been purged of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
The recapture of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of the Iraqi army, Federal Police, Counter-Terrorism Service units, pro-government fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, and the Interior Ministry’s elite rapid response forces, Abadi stated.
On July 10, Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.