Assad gives Iraqi forces green light for cross-border attacks

Assad gives Iraqi forces green light for cross-border attacks on IS
1 min read
30 December, 2018
Iraqi forces have been given the green light to attack the Islamic State group in Syria, according to Syrian state media.
The announcement highlights the close relations between the two neighbouring Arab countries [AFP]

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has authorised Iraqi forces to strike the Islamic State group in Syria without waiting for permission Damascus, Syria's state news agency said on Sunday.

The announcement highlights the close relations between the two neighbouring Arab countries, which had both lost huge swathes of territory to the IS group.

Iraqi warplanes and artillery have in the past pounded IS positions inside Syria after getting the green light from Syrian authorities.

The extremists have been militarily defeated in Iraq but still hold a small area in Syria.

On Saturday Assad received a letter from Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi calling for both countries' coordination in "fighting terrorism".

Last week, US President Donald Trump made the surprise announcement that he will be pulling all 2,000 US troops from Syria, declaring that the US had achieved its objective as the Islamic State group had been "knocked" out.

The extremist movement, also known as ISIS, has lost nearly all its territory, although thousands of its militants are thought to remain in war-battered Syria.