Syrian war planes launch attacks inside Iraq

Syrian warplanes launched strikes in Iraq's Sunni-dominant Anbar province on Tuesday, although it's unclear whether the strikes were coordinated between Baghdad and Damascus to target Sunni Islamist militants. Provincial officials reported 57 civilians were killed in the strikes.
By JC Finley   |   June 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, June 25 (UPI) -- Syrian government aircraft launched attacks Tuesday inside Iraq, along the shared border, killing 57 Iraqi civilians and injuring more than 120 others in Anbar province.

Local Iraqi officials in the Sunni-dominant province identified the planes as Syrian.

Sabah Karkhout, the head of the Anbar provincial council, said the planes bore the Syrian flag, which locals were able to see using scopes and other unspecified equipment. "Also," Karkhout added, "the planes flew directly from Syrian airspace and went back to Syria."

"Today we will hold an emergency meeting in Ramadi to address this issue," he noted.

Initially, Iraqi state media reported the strikes had been carried out by U.S. drones, but the U.S. Department of Defense refuted those claims.

Islamist militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria recently gained control of 90 percent of Anbar province, including the strategically important towns of Qaim, Rutba, Rawa and Anah.

CNN's correspondent in Iraq, Arwa Damon, reported via Twitter on Wednesday that an unidentified "western intelligence source says unclear if agreement between Baghdad and Damascus" to bomb Sunni militant targets in Iraq.

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