In an incident officials are chalking up to “friendly fire,” US warplanes carried out an airstrike against the town of al-Baghdadi, in Iraq’s Anbar Province, killing at least 10 Iraqi security forces, and a local government official.
Investigations are said to be underway, but both US and Iraqi officials are already trying to shift blame, with the Pentagon claiming they attacked the site at the request of Iraqi forces, while Iraqis suggest the strike was a unilateral US strike.
Iraqi forces were apparently called into the area looking for ISIS forces, and got into some sort of exchange of fire. The US them carried out an airstrike against a group of people they hadn’t identified and apparently assumed were the ISIS fighters, but who were local security forces.
Such incidents are a problem not only in that US forces killed their Iraqi allies, but in that it reflects an extremely poor level of intelligence being acquired before a US airstrike is carried out, a problem that has led to a massive increase in civilian deaths across the region.
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