BAGHDAD — The Iraqi military said on Saturday that it had launched an air attack on a gathering of Islamic State leaders in neighboring Syria, killing about 45 members of the militant group.
Fighter jets were said to have destroyed three houses on Friday that were connected by a trench in the town of Hajin, just across the border in eastern Syria, where the leaders were apparently meeting.
Those killed included high-profile targets such as the Islamic State’s so-called deputy war minister; one of the group’s media gurus; the personal courier of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; and its chief of police, the Iraqi military said in a statement.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, which once occupied a third of Iraq’s territory, has largely been defeated in the country, but it still poses a threat along the border with Syria.
“Iraqi F-16 jets carried out a successful airstrike that targeted a meeting of Daesh leaders,” the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said, adding, “The operation resulted in the complete destruction of the targets, and the killing of around 45 terrorists.”
The Iraqi military has carried out several airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria since last year, with the approval of the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and of the United States-led coalition fighting the militants.
Iraq has relatively good relations with Iran and Russia, Mr. Assad’s main backers in the Syrian war, and also enjoys strong support from the American-led coalition.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State in December, but the militants still operate from pockets along the border with Syria and have continued to carry out ambushes, assassinations and bombings across Iraq.