US Denies Attack on Iraqi Shi’ite Militia Near Syrian Border

Militia Says Over 30 Killed, 85 Wounded in Attack

With the first reports emerging last night, a government-linked Iraqi Shi’ite militia tied to the Popular Mobilization Front (PMF) claimed that they had been attacked not far from Sinjar by US coalition warplanes, with over 30 of their fighters killed and 85 wounded.

The US however, denies any involvement in this incident,saying they had nothing to do with the attack, and that there were no airstrikes in this particular area at the time the militia was reported to have been attacked. Could it be a case of mistaken identity?

The Iraqi government seems to think so, as they’re saying they believe the attack was not airstrikes from US warplanes but rather an artillery salvo from ambushing ISIS fighters. ISIS has also issued a statement taking credit for the attack.

That said, ISIS often claims credit for attacks they didn’t do, so long as they’ve got some pretext to think people might believe them. The US also often denies strikes they did, given reasons to doubt their story.

On the other hand, while the US has regularly attacked PMF militias inside Syria, it’s virtually unheard of for them to do so on the Iraqi side of the border, as they are nominally allies inside Iraq, and enemies once they cross into Syria.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.