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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq says it killed 45 Daesh terrorists in Syria strike

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, June 24, IRNA -- Iraq said Saturday it had killed 45 jihadists from the ISIS group, including senior members, in an air strike in eastern Syria, the second such operation in less than a month.

Iraqi F-16 fighter jets carried out a "successful strike targeting a meeting of Daesh (IS) leaders" on Friday in the Hajin region, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, a military statement said, AFP reported.

Among those killed, it said, were a senior member of the jihadists' "ministry of war", his deputy, a local commander and a media official. There was no independent confirmation.

Three houses linked by an underground tunnel were also destroyed, it said, adding that the air strike was carried out based on "intelligence" and at the request of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Hajin, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Iraq's border, is the largest populated hub still under IS control in Syria.

Last month the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that monitors the Syrian war said that at least 65 senior IS members live in Hajin.

The town has been surrounded since the end of last year by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, the monitor says.

Iraq's air force has carried out several strikes on IS-held territory in Syria since April, including one targeting "the headquarters of IS terrorist gang leaders" in Hajin on May 24.

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