- Jordanian pilot’s father appeals to Isis captors
US forces and their allies staged 39 air strikes on Islamic State (Isis) forces in Iraq and Syria on Thursday and Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force said.
Fighters, bombers and remotely controlled aircraft hit 19 targets in Syria while 20 strikes were carried out in Iraq, a statement said. The statement was updated, after a previous release said 31 strikes had been carried out on Friday.
The strikes in Syria were concentrated on an area near the city of Kobani and destroyed buildings, a staging area and several fighting positions. Two large Isis units and four tactical units also were hit.
Two air strikes near Al Hasakah and one near Ar Raqqah also caused damage.
In Iraq, air strikes hit near Al Asad, Sinjar, Mosul, Al Qaim, Baiji, Kirkuk and Tal Afar, destroying or damaging a rocket system, vehicles, tactical units and fighting positions, the statement said.
Isis, meanwhile, claimed it carried out a suicide bombing south of Baghdad on Wednesday that targeted Sunni fighters who oppose the jihadists. Thirty-eight people were killed in the attack.
The bomber attacked the fighters, known as Sahwa, while they were gathering near a military base in Madain to receive their pay. At least 56 people were wounded.
Isis claimed the attack in a message posted online, and identified the bomber as Saifeddin al-Ansari.
US-led air strikes against Isis militants began in Iraq on 8 August and in Syria on 23 September. On Thursday, the father of a Jordanian pilot who was taken prisoner by Isis fighters after his jet came down near the Syrian city of Raqqa pleaded for his son to be well-treated.
The loss of the Jordanian plane was the first suffered by the US-led coalition.
The group has executed captured Iraqi and Syrian Muslim soldiers, but the pilot’s father, Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh, said: “I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Muadh, with generous hospitality. I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother.”
He added: “We are all Muslims.”