A military convoy from the Islamic State group arrives in Nineveh province, northwest Iraq. File photo
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Qamishli, Syria – On Friday, U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes hit two key bridges used by Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in the province of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria.
The bridges are located on two major highways between Syria and Iraq.
“The coalition’s strikes destroyed two bridges between the Syrian city of Al-Bukamal and the Iraqi border,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The targeted bridges, located above the Euphrates River, were of a strategic importance for jihadists’ movements between Syria and Iraq.
The radical group took over the city of Al-Bukamal and the nearby border crossing in July 2014, linking the group’s territory in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor to areas under its control in the western Iraqi province of Anbar.
“Militants were able to reach Iraqi border through those bridges within minutes from Al-Bukamal,” Rahman said.
Friday’s strikes did not cut off IS’ route to Iraq completely, but made the group’s movement there more difficult for the length of other routes, which may enable the coalition to monitor the militants’ movements near Syria-Iraq border more closely.
In the meantime, the Pentagon confirmed the raids, saying they had struck IS-held bridges in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province.
“Coalition’s warplanes struck several IS targets in the vicinity of the eastern Syria border to reduce the freedom of movement of the group,” said Brigadier General Kevin Killea, chief of staff of the US-led coalition.
“These strikes will have a profound impact on the ability of Daesh (IS) in Syria to affect operations in Iraq, particularly in Ramadi (capital of Anbar province),” Killea said.
Last September, the coalition forces started strikes on IS locations in Syria after the jihadists’ dramatic progress on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Reporting by: Egid Yousef
Source: ARA News