Syria struck militants on Iraq border, Maliki tells BBC
BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse
An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 9 allegedly shows ISIL militants taking position at a Iraqi border post on the Syrian-Iraqi border. AFP PhotoThe Syrian air force carried out air strikes targeting militants on the Syrian side of the Iraq-Syria border this week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the BBC on Thursday.
Maliki told the British broadcaster he "welcomed" any such strike against militants, led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but noted Baghdad did not request the aerial raids which took place on Tuesday.
The strikes came after ISIL-led insurgents took control of the Al-Qaim border town on the Iraqi side of the frontier, providing them a strategic route into conflict-hit Syria, where the jihadist group is also active.
On Wednesday, Al-Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Al-Nusra Front, also made a local pledge of allegiance to ISIL, further bolstering the group's control of the border area.
Sunni militants have overrun vast swathes of five provinces north and west of Baghdad in an offensive that has alarmed the international community, left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.