"Syrian combat aircraft crossed into Iraqi airspace at about 8:00 am for about 15 minutes," an Iraqi official said
A picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on December 20, 2011 shows a military aircraft take part in manoeuvres in an undisclosed location in Syria. Syrian military planes crossed into Iraqi airspace on Thursday in order to carry out air strikes against the border town of Albu Kamal, which is held by rebel forces, Iraqi officials said. © - - AFP/SANA/File
AFP
Last updated: August 23, 2012

Syrian jets cross into Iraq to bomb border town with rebels

Syrian military planes crossed into Iraqi airspace on Thursday in order to carry out air strikes against the border town of Albu Kamal, which is held by rebel forces, Iraqi officials said.

"Syrian combat aircraft crossed into Iraqi airspace at about 8:00 am (0500 GMT) for about 15 minutes, and targeted Albu Kamal in Syrian territory," a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi border guards said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An official in the security command centre of Anbar, the western Iraqi province that borders Albu Kamal in Syria, confirmed the incident but declined to give details or to be identified by name.

The mayor of Qaim, the Iraqi town across the border from Albu Kamal, said that there had been attacks on Albu Kamal, but said the planes did not cross the border.

"There were ... aerial attacks on Albu Kamal," Farhan al-Obeidi said. "There weren't any Syrian aircraft crossing into Iraq -- everything that happened was in Syria."

Last month, Syrian rebels took control of Albu Kamal, one of three main border crossings along the 600-kilometre (375-mile) frontier between Iraq and Syria.

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