An airstrike, believed to have been carried out by the US-led coalition, hit a Shi’ite mosque in the town of Daquq, on the outskirts of the city of Kirkuk, killing at least 15 civilians, and by some estimates 20, involved in a funeral procession. Scores of others were wounded.
The Pentagon followed the Friday attack with a statement Sunday denying involvement, insisting they had “determined definitively” that they were not involved in any airstrikes against Daquq that resulted in civilian casualties.
The denial’s very specific caveats, that they didn’t deny attacking Daquq, or indeed the mosque, doesn’t help with credibility, and indeed Iraq is still carrying out an investigation into the attack. Daquq was not believed to have any ISIS fighters anywhere near it, and the locals confirmed the attack was carried out by a warplane, though they obviously weren’t able to say whose warplane it was, Iraq or the US coalition.
With the US loudly publicizing every Russian airstrike in Aleppo as a “war crime,” Russia was quick to fire back over this incident, saying the attack on the funeral procession had “all the signs of a war crime.” Russian Defense Ministry officials said two US warplanes were involved in the attack.
That Russia is piling on will likely prevent the US from admitting the incident, and indeed they were loathe to admit any civilian deaths they’ve caused during the ISIS air war in the first place. Either way, the denials ring decidedly false.