U.S. investigates airstrike that killed Iraqi forces

A social media account under the name ‘Tom Cat’ that follows security issues in Iraq reported that a checkpoint from the Federal Police 3rd division had been mistakenly targeted.

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April 28, 2019 19:19
1 minute read.
isis airstrike

A plume of smoke rises above a building during an air strike against Islamic State fighters in Tikrit, Iraq March 27, 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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On April 24, a member of the Iraqi Federal police was killed and two others wounded in an airstrike carried out by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, a spokesperson for the operation said.

Over the last 48 hours, social media accounts have been reporting the incident in the region of Hawija, around 280 km. north of Baghdad.

An account under the name “Tom Cat” that follows security issues in Iraq reported that a checkpoint from the Federal Police 3rd Division had been mistakenly targeted on April 24. At the same time, the coalition, he wrote, had carried out other air strikes on Wadi Shai, south of Daquq. Iraqi security forces have been conducting large-scale operations against ISIS in the area of Hamrin mountains, not far from Hawija. The whole area has been threatened by ISIS since last summer as cells continue to infiltrate rural areas or hide in caves.

In response to an inquiry from The Jerusalem Post, the coalition’s Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve media desk confirmed that an incident had taken place.


“On April 24, one Iraqi Federal Police member was reportedly killed and two were wounded by coalition forces supporting Iraqi security force counter-Daesh [ISIS] operations near al-Dib, Iraq,” the media desk said. “The wounded are in stable condition and receiving medical care. The incident is under investigation.”

It is rare for coalition aircraft to cause casualties among friendly Iraqi security forces. Throughout the anti-ISIS war, despite the complexity of the operations, aircraft have rarely harmed Iraqi forces or the numerous Iraqi paramilitary and militia forces that were fighting ISIS. The anti-ISIS coalition has 79 members and has trained more than 190,000 Iraqis since the war on ISIS began in 2014.

In 2017, most of Iraq was liberated from ISIS, but the group continues to pose a threat. In addition, the coalition’s aircraft continue to support Iraqi forces where necessary, striking at ISIS members in rural areas. One Shi’ite militia group has called on the US to be prosecuted for the attack.

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