U.S. troops abstain from shelling Islamic State leaders in Syria: Iraqi official

Rocket shelling. File photo.

Anbar ( The U.S.-led Coalition jets have abstained from shelling a Syrian region, located near borders with Iraq, where many Islamic State leaders, including the supreme leader, exist, an Iraqi official said on Wednesday.

In remarks to Almaalomah website, Farhan Mohamed al-Duleimi, member of Anbar provincial council, said, “IS turned al-Hegeen in Syria, which is 40 kilometers away from Qaim, west of Anbar, to the center of caliphate. Today, there are tens of Iraqi, Syrian and other IS leaders.”

Duleimi also added that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is likely to be there in the region.
“Leaving such area without being targeted by the U.S. coalition jets is questionable,” he added. “Security leaders urged targeting this area as it threatens the safety of western Anbar.”

On Tuesday, the Joint Operations Command said Baghdadi is at Eastern Euphrates region, where U.S. troops are deployed.

On Sunday, Iraqi warplanes launched a new wave of air raids against outposts of the Islamic State group in Syria.

In April, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi denied intentions to intervene within Syrian affairs, saying airstrikes against Islamic State will continue.

Iraq had previously announced launching airstrikes against IS locations in Syria. This came after Abadi said security troops will follow IS militants in the whole region, not only in Iraq.

The Iraqi-Syrian borders are under the control of joint troops of military and border guards.

Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.


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