Syrian Warplane Attacks in Iraq Kill at Least 57 Civilians
Syrian warplanes reportedly crossed Iraq's western border on Tuesday and attacked areas in the Anbar province, killing at least 57 civilians and wounding 120. According to a U.S. official, the attacks were meant to target the ISIS militants who have taken control of much of the border between Iraq and Syria.
Sabah Karkhout, the head of the Anbar provincial council, told CNN that witnesses saw the Syrian flag on the warplanes. "Also, the planes flew directly from Syrian airspace and went back to Syria," he said.
Additionally, the Associated Press is reporting that Syrian warplanes killed at least 12 people in the eastern Iraqi city of Raqqa Wednesday morning. ISIS has controlled Raqqa for over a year. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the warplanes hit at least one ISIS target — the headquarters in Raqqa.
These attacks are, as ABC News put it, a "regional escalation of the conflict inside Iraq." If Syria really is helping Iraqi forces fight ISIS, it's the second country in the region to do so — some Iranian troops have reportedly helped Iraq's Shiite militias.
Meanwhile, ISIS militants are still battling Iraqi forces on the ground in Ramadi in the Anbar province. According to a report from NPR, militants killed at least one senior Iraqi commander on Wednesday.
[Image via AP]