F-16 fighter jets of the Iraqi Air Force has launched airstrikes on target the Islamic State’s (ISIS) positions in Syria.
According to Iraqi officials, F-16IQ fighter jets destroyed a building where members of the ultra-hardline Sunni militant group were storing weapons, killing 10 of its members. A second strike destroyed a building housing 30 Islamic State fighters.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defense also added that their Air Force carried to destroy at least two weapons depots in the southeastern part of Deir Ezzor.
The Iraqi air force has carried out several strikes against Islamic State in Syria since last year, with the approval of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State.
On 13 July 2015, the Iraqi Air Force received its first batch of F-16 fighters. To date, Iraq has 23 F-16IQ Fighting Falcon aircraft in service, out of 36 fighter jets the U.S. agreed to sell to Baghdad. The final batch of F-16IQ would be delivered to the Iraqi air force in 2019.
According to the U.S. Air Force official, the Iraqi air force is now “more than capable” of eliminating terror organizations by using these aircraft.
The US Air Force has been backing Iraq’s security forces as well as the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga with air strikes during the ongoing battle with ISIS.