DAMASCUS, Syria | Syria’s Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria | Syria’s Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria’s state news agency says President Bashar Assad has authorized Iraqi forces to attack the Islamic State group inside Syria without waiting for permission from authorities in Damascus.

Sunday’s announcement highlights the close relations between the two neighboring Arab countries. IS once controlled large parts of both countries when it declared a caliphate in 2014.

Iraqi warplanes and artillery have in the past pounded IS positions inside Syria after getting the green light from Syrian authorities.

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