As the US continues to escalate its airstrikes against targets across Iraq, they seem to be getting a bit more reckless, with the Pentagon confirming today that one of their airstrikes wound up a “friendly fire” incident which killed at least 10 Iraqi troops, and by some accounts many more.
The initial report from Iraq’s Joint Operations was 10 killed, including a commander, though later in the day Hakim Zamili, Iraq’s Security and Defense Committee chairman, issued a statement claiming at least 30 soldiers were killed, and 20 others wounded in the US strike.
The Pentagon did not offer specific numbers of its own, but did deny Zamili’s figures, saying that there was no truth to reports that over 20 soldiers were killed in the attack. Even then, they didn’t appear to be limiting their claim to just the initial 10.
The strike was near Fallujah, and hit troops from Iraq’s 3rd Division, 55th Brigade, which were trying to retake an area held by ISIS. They called in coalition airstrikes, with the first two strikes giving them a significant boost, allowing them to advance quite a bit. Then a third strike hit later in the exact same spot as the first two, which by then was full of advancing Iraqi troops. The US said the fault was “on both sides.”