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Iraqi Military Says 45 IS Members Killed in Air Strike

FILE - Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

An Iraqi air strike in eastern Syria has claimed the lives of 45 members of Islamic State, Iraq's military said Saturday.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command said F-16 warplanes launched an assault on three houses Friday in the town of Hajin, where IS leaders were meeting.

Among those killed were the militant group's "deputy war minister," one of its "media emirs," the leader's personal courier and its police chief, the military said in a statement.

Iraq has launched several aerial attacks against IS in Syria since last year.

The strikes were executed with the approval of the Syrian government and the U.S.-led coalition.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in December IS had been defeated in the region but the group is still active in pockets along the border with Syria.

IS began using guerrilla tactics since it abandoned its objective of controlling territory and creating a self-sufficient caliphate along the Iraqi-Syrian border.