Iraq News

Iraqi air force strikes dozens of ISIL fighters in west

Iraq's Joint Operations Command said Thursday (December 8th) that Iraqi aircraft struck dozens of mostly foreign fighters from the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) near the border with Syria the previous day.

It confirmed that deadly strikes in the al-Qaim area in the west of the country were carried out by the Iraqi air force.

The JOC issued a statement confirming that the Iraqi air force had carried out two strikes in the ISIL-held al-Qaim area on Wednesday, saying they targeted hideouts used by ISIL members.

The first one was conducted at 9 a.m. and struck a two-story building housing 25 mostly foreign would-be suicide bombers, led by a fighter it named as Abu Maysar al-Kawkazi (from the Caucasus), the statement said.

Another strike was carried out during a second mission at 9:55 a.m., hitting a building hosting 30 to 40 ISIL fighters, also mostly foreigners, it said.

Iraqi officials, including parliament speaker Salim al-Jubury, had said on Wednesday that dozens of civilians were killed or wounded in a strike on a market area in al-Qaim.

The JOC denied striking a market area and said a blast there was caused by a car bomb that either went off accidentally or was detonated by ISIL for propaganda purposes.

Amaq, an ISIL propaganda tool, released a video late Wednesday showing scenes of chaos in a market area, with bodies strewn across a street and wounded being treated.

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