Iraqi helicopters hit jihadist convoy in Syria

The attack was the first time Iraq's military has said it carried out an offensive in Syria

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An attack against a jihadist convoy by Iraqi army helicopters left eight people dead on Sunday, an interior ministry spokesman said.

"The army struck eight tanker trucks in Wadi Suwab inside Syrian territory as they were trying to enter Iraqi territory to provide the (jihadist) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with fuel," Brigadier General Saad Maan said.

The attack, which occurred in eastern Syria as the convoy tried to approach the border, was the first time Iraq's military has said it carried out an offensive in Syria.

Maan said there was “no coordination with the Syrian regime” over the strike and that it was simply protecting its border.

"Our responsibility now is to protect our border and to protect the border from the other side, because there is no protection from the other side," he said.

The vehicles were traveling to the western Iraqi border province in Anbar, where ISIL has been fighting Iraqi security forces and controls the city of Fallujah.

ISIL first emerged in Iraq after the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003 and later began fighting in Syria.

The brutal methods its fighters used in Syrian areas under their control turned other opposition groups against them, and they were pushed back by other rebel groups into their stronghold in northeastern Syria, where they still hold territory.

(With AFP)