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Iraq: Airstrikes kill dozens of militants near Syria border

The strikes took place outside of Mosul [AFP - illustrative file-photo]

Date of publication: 1 April, 2017

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A government statement says Iraqi fighter jets have carried out airstrikes against IS outside Mosul, killing more than 100 militants.

A government statement says Iraqi fighter jets have carried out airstrikes against IS outside Mosul, killing more than 100 militants.

Saturday's statement says the strikes hit three IS targets in Baaj, a remote northwestern town near the Syrian border, and killed between 150-200 militants.

It said the militants had crossed over from Syria, suggesting that IS still enjoys free movement across the borders.

The statement didn't say when the strikes happened and officials were not available to offer more details. It could not be immediately verified.

In January, Iraqi authorities declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated." Fighting is underway to recapture the city's western side.

Airstrikes by Iraqi Air Force and US-led international coalition have been vital to the months-long operation to retake Mosul from IS.

However, a recent spike in civilian casualties from suspected US airstrikes has drawn sharp criticism and accusations of disregard for civilian lives from rights groups, prompting US and Iraqi investigations and reviews.

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