Iraq army launches first attack in Syria as ISIL militants try to cross border
Iraqi forces have been battling anti-government fighters, including the ISIL, in Anbar province since late 2013 (Azhar Shallal/AFP)
Iraq's army attacked a convoy of extremist rebel fighters inside eastern Syria, leaving eight dead Sunday as the vehicles approached the country's border, according to Agence France Presse.
Iraq's Brigadier General Saad Maan told AFP, "The army struck eight tanker trucks in Wadi Suwab inside Syrian territory as they were trying to enter Iraqi territory to provide the (jihadist) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with fuel."
Maan confirmed that this is the first time that Iraq's military has conducted an attack within Syria's borders and added that "there was no coordination with the Syrian regime" on Baghdad's decision to strike the convoy.
"Our responsibility now is to protect our border and to protect the border from the other side, because there is no protection from the other side," Maan said.
The vehicles were en route towards the province of Anbar, where Iraq's government forces have been trying to regain control of Fallujah from ISIL militants.
ISIL also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a Shiite political rally that has left at least 33 dead ahead of Wednesday's pariiamentary elections.
ISIL first emerged in Iraq during the U.S. led invasion in 2003.