Iraq conducts first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria

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Smoke billows following a reported car bomb explosion at a Syrian pro-government position during clashes between rebel fighters and regime forces to take control of an area in the southern city of Daraa on February 20, 2017. /MOHAMAD ABAZEED/AFP/Getty Images)

For the first time, Iraqi fighter jets carried out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, according to a statement issued Friday by Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, and Iraq’s Joint Operation Command.

A spokesman with the Joint Operation Command confirmed to CNN the airstrikes that hit ISIS targets in Syria were coordinated with the Damascus government.

The statements say the airstrikes were a response to car bomb attacks in the al-Bayaa and al-Habibiya neighborhoods of Baghdad that killed scores of people earlier this month.

“Our heroic Air Force pilots carried out those strikes in response to the terrorists and they were successfully executed,” the prime minister said.

“Intelligence and operation command worked hard to track the perpetrators who planned and executed those attacks,” according to the statement from the Joint Operation Command.

F-16s were used to carry out the strikes, which destroyed ISIS hideouts and headquarters in the border towns of Albu Kamal in Syria and Husaiba in Iraq’s western Anbar province, the statement said.