The United States has bombed militants near Baghdad in support of Iraqi forces, striking close to the capital for the first time in its expanded campaign against Islamic State jihadists.
But in a sign of their growing strength, a monitoring group said the jihadists had managed to bring down a Syrian warplane conducting strikes over their stronghold of Raqa in north-central Syria.
The US air strike against IS fighters in the Sadr al-Yusufiyah area, 15 miles from Baghdad, came as world diplomats pledged to support Iraq in its fight against the militants and less than a week after US President Barack Obama ordered a “relentless” war against IS.
"US military forces continued to attack (IS) terrorists in Iraq, employing attack and fighter aircraft to conduct two air strikes Sunday and Monday in support of Iraqi security forces near Sinjar and southwest of Baghdad," the US Central Command said in a statement.
"The air strike southwest of Baghdad was the first strike taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit (IS) targets as Iraqi forces go on offence, as outlined in the president’s speech last Wednesday."
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Suspected armed Islamist extremists on Friday fired rockets at a camp of the UN mission in Mali in the north of the country, a Malian security source said.
The attackers fired four rockets at the MINUSMA base close to the border with Algeria at about 4:00 am (0400 GMT), the source told AFP, but could not say whether the camp at Aguelhoc had been struck or if there were any injuries.
"This is the work of the Islamists," he stated.
A Malian Islamist close to the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed responsibility for a first attack Wednesday on the UN camp, in the Kidal region.
"In the name of all the mujahedeen, we have attacked the camp of the enemies of Islam today at Aguelhoc," Sultan Ould Bady, known for his links with MUJAO, told AFP.
Crisis-stricken Malaysia Airlines said Thursday its second-quarter loss nearly doubled and forecast more red ink in the second half of the year, as two crippling air disasters sent passenger bookings tumbling.
The flag carrier said it posted a 305.7 million ringgit ($97.2 million) loss in the April-June quarter, which followed the March 8 disappearance of flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew aboard.
That compared to a 175 million ringgit loss in the same period of last year.
The latest results mark the sixth straight quarterly loss for Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which has struggled to stay competitive and is now in dire financial straits following the loss of MH370 and the July 18 shooting down over Ukraine of flight MH17, which killed all 298 aboard that plane.
"The impact of the MH370 incident and intensified competition resulted in" a 6.7 percent drop in bookings, it said in a statement to the Malaysian stock exchange.
The loss was less than what some analysts had expected. In the first quarter the carrier lost 443 million ringgit amid the impact of MH370.