U.S., allies conduct 18 air strikes in Iraq, five in Syria: U.S. military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition conducted 18 air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and five in Syria on Saturday, according to the task force organizing the military operation.

In Iraq, the strikes hit near nine cities including Sinjar, Ramadi, Mosul and Kisik, and destroyed heavy machine guns, fighting positions and vehicles belonging to Islamic State militants, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.

The strikes in Syria hit near Abu Kamal, Aleppo and the militant stronghold of Raqqa, where two strikes damaged an artillery piece, the statement said.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Adrian Croft)