Iraqi air force targets Daesh in Syria as ground forces push deeper into the densely populated western Mosul where some 650,000 civilians are trapped.

An Iraqi soldier holds an upside down Daesh flag at Mosul airport during an offensive to liberate the western side of the city on February 23, 2017.
An Iraqi soldier holds an upside down Daesh flag at Mosul airport during an offensive to liberate the western side of the city on February 23, 2017.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Friday he had ordered the Iraqi air force to strike Daesh positions inside Syria in retaliation for recent bomb attacks in Baghdad.

Daesh has claimed responsibility for several car bombs in Baghdad in the past few weeks.

Abadi said that his government had given orders to the air force command to strike Daesh targets in the Syrian town of Albu Kamal "as they were responsible for recent bombings in Baghdad," adding that the "heroes of the sky executed the operation and responded to the terrorists with amazing success."

F16 fighter jets and had destroyed the Daesh headquarters in the area, a separate statement by the Joint Operations Command said.

The strikes came as US-backed Iraqi security forces moved into neighbourhoods in west Mosul on Friday, a day after recapturing from Daesh the city's airport and a former military camp.

"Daesh is putting up weak resistance and its members have started to flee towards populated parts south of the city and are using civilians as human shields," said Abbas Al Jibouri, chief of staff of the security forces.

TRT World's Nicole Johnston has this update on the battle.

The government offensive is now pushing deeper into densely populated western Mosul, held by Daesh, and home to some 650,000 civilians.

Some of the families have managed to flee the area as the battle rages.

Daesh took control of Mosul in 2014. The Iraqi government and its US and Iran-back allies launched an operation in December 2016 to retake the city, the country's second biggest and the last major Daesh bastion in Iraq.

TRT World's Ben Tornquist has more.

Daesh attack kills 15 Iraqi border guards

Daesh militants attacked an Iraqi border guard position near Jordan on Friday, killing at least 15 guards, officials said.

"Daesh launched an attack with a suicide car bomb and gunmen on the 2nd border guard regiment near Trebil," an officer in the border guard said.

"The attack came from several directions and killed 15 border guards, including two officers," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Local officials confirmed the attack and death toll.

Turkish air strikes target PKK in Iraq

Turkey's military carried out air strikes in northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains on Wednesday, targetting the PKK and killing 27.

Qandil in northern Iraq is a key command post of the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU.

The PKK resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the decades-long conflict, including several thousand since fighting resumed in 2015.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies