WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies hit Islamic State forces with 41 air strikes in Iraq and Syria on Thursday, concentrating the attacks on the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, a joint command statement said on Friday.
Seventeen air strikes were carried out near Deir ez-Zor, hitting Islamic State staging areas, bridges, checkpoints, a training center and a logistics site. Seven strikes near Hasakah were aimed at tactical units, fighting positions, vehicles and a command center, the statement from the Command Joint Task Force said.
In Iraq, 17 allied air strikes near nine cities targeted staging areas, tactical units, weapons and other Islamic State assets.
U.S. Brigadier General Kevin Killea, referring to Islamic State as Daesh, said in the statement the strikes in eastern Syria would reduce the freedom of movement of militant group in the area and beyond Syria's border.
"These strikes will have a profound impact on the ability of Daesh in Syria to affect operations in Iraq, particularly in Ramadi," he said. "Denying Daesh the ability to use these targets severely reduces their efforts to destabilize the region."
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Doina Chiacu)