July 18, 2015 / 4:49 PM / 2 years ago

U.S., allies target Islamic State with 23 air strikes in Iraq: military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies bombarded Islamic State in Iraq on Friday with 23 air strikes, hitting the militant group near Tal Afar and Ramadi, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Referring to the militant group as Daesh, Col. Wayne Morotto, chief of public affairs for the Combined Joint Task Force, said in a statement: “When coalition assets detect and positively identify Daesh targets, we strike them relentlessly and our strikes exact a heavy toll on this brutal enemy.”

Nearly half the strikes, 10, hit targets near Tal Afar, where they destroyed an Islamic State building and vehicles and damaged tactical units, staging areas, weapons caches and a command and control center, according to the military.

Five strikes near Ramadi destroyed Islamic State improvised explosive devices, vehicles and fighting positions, while also hitting tactical units, military said.

Separately, coalition forces also launched eight air strikes in Syria with most, five, hitting targets near Al Hasakah, the U.S. military said.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Pravin Char

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