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Military: US, Allies Conduct 15 Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

  • VOA News

Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters regain control of northern neighborhoods after overnight heavy clashes with Islamic State militants in Ramadi, April 23, 2015.

Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters regain control of northern neighborhoods after overnight heavy clashes with Islamic State militants in Ramadi, April 23, 2015.

Coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State in Syria and Iraq on Saturday.

In Iraq, coalition forces conducted 11 airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, using fighter, attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft against IS terrorists, the U.S.-led coalition's command said in a statement.

Airstrikes near Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and Tal Afar struck and disabled or destroyed IS fighting positions, vehicles and heavy machine guns.

In Syria, near Kobani, coalition forces conducted four airstrikes using fighter aircraft.

“Coalition support remains steadfast as we work together with our partners to defeat Daesh,” said Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, the coalition command's chief of staff, using the Arabic name for Islamic State. “These strikes support continuous incremental gains by Iraqi and Kurdish fighters that will combine over time to result in the demise of Daesh in Iraq and Syria.”

Meanwhile, Islamic State militants exploded three suicide car bombs at the border crossing between Iraq and Jordan on Saturday, in an attack officials said killed at least four members of the Iraqi security forces.

At least 10 others were reported wounded in the blasts, which were quickly claimed by the Islamic State group.

The Trebill crossing, where the attack occurred, is the only official passageway between the two countries.

The militants overran large parts of Iraq last year, including much of the western province of Anbar, where the Trebill crossing is located.

Islamic State militants also killed a senior Iraqi commander, who was head of the 1st Division, and at least one other officer in heavy fighting Friday in Anbar province, military officials said.

The militants' attack included a bombing. In addition to the senior commander, at least 10 soldiers were killed and up to a dozen were wounded.

The jihadist group stepped up attacks near Ramadi in Anbar province last week, but in the days since, Iraqi and coalition forces made progress in pushing back militant positions in the area, officials said.

"We are seeing Iraqis able to organize with professionalism and capacity that was unimaginable six months ago,” a senior Obama administration official said Thursday.

But he described the effort to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria as a "multiyear campaign" and said a "very, very long road" lies ahead.

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