Iraqi helicopters strike jihadis in Syria, for the first time

BAGHDAD: Iraqi army helicopters hit a jihadist convoy in eastern Syria on Sunday, killing at least eight, in a show of strength just days before the country’s first general election since 2010.

It was the first strike inside Syria claimed by Iraq since the three-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.

The conflict has spilt across the border, contributing to the most dramatic rise of violence in Iraq since the country’s 2006-2008 sectarian war, with more than 600 people killed so far this month.

Meanwhile, Iraqis living overseas began voting in the parliamentary election in which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is seeking a third term despite worsening sectarian tensions at home, rampant corruption and high unemployment.

Polling day inside Iraq is Wednesday…