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US-led coalition conducts airstrikes in Iraq and Syria

US and coalition forces conducted six airstrikes against IS in Kobani, Syria Credit: Reuters/Osman Orsal

US and coalition forces conducted six airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and another 11 in Iraq in the past 24 hours, the US military said.

In Syria, the six strikes targeted three tactical units near Kobani, destroying two fighting positions and damaging one heavy machine gun position.

In Iraq, the strikes took place near Mosul, Tal Afar, Fallujah and Kirkuk, hitting tactical units, buildings and checkpoints as well as vehicles and one weapons cache, the statement said.

All aircraft taking part in the operation returned safely to base.

Islamic State militants destroy another ancient city

Islamic State militants have destroyed the historical remains of another ancient city in Iraq.

The country's tourism and antiquities ministry said the 2,000-year-old city of Hatra, in the northern region, had been demolished.

A picture taken in 2002 shows one of the ancient temples in Hatra Credit: Reuters

Hatra was named as a world heritage site in 1987, and dates back two millennia to the Seleucid empire which ruled much of the land conquered by Alexander the Great.

Reports from the region say the militants used explosives and bulldozers to raze the ancient monuments.

It follows the destruction of another ancient city, Nimrud, which has been condemned as a "war crime" by the UN.

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UN condemns destruction of Nimrud as a 'war crime'

The United Nations has condemned as a war crime its assault on the relics of one of humanity's earliest civilisations.

For almost two thousand years the Assyrian empire ruled over a huge area of Iraq and Syria, with the ancient city of Nimrud at its heart.

As Paul Davies reports, Islamic State terrorists are said to have reduced Nimrud to rubble.

ITV News' Paul Davies reports:

Unesco condemns 'war crime' destruction of Nimrud

The Director General of Unesco has called the Islamic State destruction of the ancient city of Nimrud in Iraq "a war crime."

I condemn in the strongest possible manner the destruction of the archaeological site of Nimrud site in Iraq.

This is yet another attack against the Iraqi people, reminding us that nothing is safe from the cultural cleansing underway in the country: it targets human lives, minorities, and is marked by the systematic destruction of humanity’s ancient heritage.

– Unesco Director General Irina Bokova

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MoD releases video showing RAF attack on IS in Iraq

The Ministry of Defence has released a video showing an attack on Islamic State in Iraq.

The text accompanying the video said: "In the early hours of Friday 27 February, an RAF Tornado GR4 patrol conducted reconnaissance to the north-west of Haditha. An ISIL armoured personnel carrier was located, and destroyed with a Brimstone missile."

First Iraqi troops enter suburbs of Tikrit in battle over city

The first few Iraqi troops have entered the suburbs of Tikrit - Saddam Hussein's hometown - as an operation to seize back control of the city from Islamic State militants gets underway.

More than 27,000 Iraqi soldiers and Shia volunteers launched a three-pronged attack, firing mortars and exchanging gunfire with the militants at three different locations in the bid to liberate the city.

Forces have exchanged fire Credit: EBU
Iraqi troops have now entered the suburbs Credit: EBU

Iraq military bid to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown

A large-scale military operation has been launched in a bid to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown in Iraq, according to The Associated Press, citing the country's state television service.

Tikrit, which is around 80 miles north of Baghdad, fell under control of Islamic State militants last summer along with the country's second-largest city, Mosul.

Ahead of the operation, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Sunni tribal fighters to abandon the extremist group, promising them a pardon.

US-led coalition launches air strikes in Iraq and Syria

A US-led coalition has launched seven air strikes in Iraq and two in Syria against Islamic State militants since yesterday morning, the Combined Joint Task Force announced.

Two air strikes involving US drones in Syria near Al Hasakah struck an Islamic State tactical unit and destroyed two vehicles.

In Iraq, the US-led coalition used warplanes and drones to strike near Al Asad, Al Qaim, Kirkuk and Mosul, destroying Islamic State tactical units, boats, a storage facility, buildings and other targets, according to the statement.

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