US-led coalition air strikes destroyed early Friday two key bridges used by the Islamic State group on the Syrian side of the Iraqi border, a monitoring group said.
The Pentagon confirmed strikes in the area, and a senior US officer said they will have a “profound impact” on IS abilities to carry out operations in the neighbouring and strategically important Iraqi province of Anbar.
The coalition “destroyed two bridges between the Syrian city of Albu Kamal and the Iraqi border,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“These bridges are strategically important for IS’s movements between Albu Kamal and Iraq,” he said.
The jihadists seized Albu Kamal and the nearby border crossing in July 2014, linking their territory in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor to areas they control in Iraq’s western Anbar province.
The two bridges leading out of Albu Kamal — one to the east, and one to the southeast — were IS’s “main routes to the Iraqi border,” Abdel Rahman said.
The bridge running to the east crosses the Euphrates River and leads to Baghouz, a smaller town along the border.