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article imageUnidentified bombers hit ISIS-controlled Iraq city of al-Qaim

By Ken Hanly     Jun 24, 2014 in World
Baghdad - Unidentified planes have launched an air strike on ISIS positions in the city of al-Qaim. according reports on Iraqi television. The city on the Syrian border was recently occupied by ISIS forces.
Iraqi television claimed the attack was launched by US planes. However, the Pentagon has denied that the US was involved. The Saudi Al-Arabiya TV claimed that the raid was carried out by Assad's forces based upon reports by local tribal chiefs. The Iraqi government also has carried out bombing raids against ISIS-held towns such as Fallujah and Mosul.
The Turkish new agency Andolu claimed that 20 people were killed and 25 injured in the attacks which hit a local market. The town was captured by the ISIS fighters who moved into al-Qaim last Friday. Once border guards at a nearby crossing into Syria heard that al-Qaim was captured they abandoned their posts. Nevertheless Sameer al-Shwiali a media adviser to the top commander of Iraq's anti-terrorist group told a Reuters reporter that the Iraqi army was still in control of al-Qaim. Both sides of the nearby Albukamal-Qaim crossing are now in the hands of ISIS militants. The crossing provides a strategic supply route between Syria and Iraq.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights ISIS has pushed its rival Al-Qaeda linked group the Nusra Front out of many areas in Eastern Syria. The capture of the new crossing point will allow them to easily move into Syria. In their recent drive into Iraq that captured much territory including the city of Mosul, the ISIS has seized many weapons and much equipment as well as looting banks.
Another report indicates that Syrian jets attacked ISIS held areas in eastern Syria close to the Iraq border. Five raids are said to have killed at least 16 people in the town of Muhassen about 100 km (60 miles) from the Iraq border. The town is along the Euphrates river. A sympathizer with ISIS said on Skype from Muhassen: "Syrian President Bashar al- Assad's forces want to punish towns such as Muhassan for their support of ISIS. This bombing campaign is lending a hand to help Iraqi Shi'ite leader Maliki (Iraqi Prime Minister) to destroy ISIL after its victories," Along with their advances in Iraq ISIS is gaining ground throughout eastern Syria as well. A lawyer in Deir al-Zor noted that ISIS often gained territory without any fighting at all: "They are playing the tribal card and by winning tribal new allegiances by a carrot-and-stick approach, they are doing so without losing fighters," ISIS fighters include a hardened group of Chechens believed to number over 800.
More about alQaim, Isis, Iraq Syria border
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