Anti-DAESH drone strike kills nine anti-DAESH fighters

Mistaken coordinates result in 'friendly' casualties of Iranian-backed Shiite militia, killing nine and injuring 15 others in west of Speicher, outside Tikrit

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Updated Jan 12, 2016

 Nine members of an Iraqi anti-DAESH group were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded  in a "friendly fire" incident, militia sources said on Sunday.

The incident took place after the fighters responded to an attack to the west of Camp Speicher, outside Tikrit, by DAESH terrorists, according to a spokesman for Hashid Shaabi, a group made up of mostly Shiite militias fighting alongside Iraqi forces.

An Iranian-backed militia that is part of the Hashid, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, blamed the United States-led coalition forces for the incident.

The group’s spokesman released a statement in which he condemned the US-led coalition which is carrying out air strikes against DAESH positions in Syria and Iraq.

"The American coalition renewed its attacks on the Hashid Shaabi resistance factions when an American drone bombed the headquarters of Kataib Jund al-Islam at Camp Speicher," spokesman Naim al Uboudi’s statement read.

However, the spokesman of the joint police and military operations command in Salahuddin province said an Iraqi Army drone was resposinle for the "friendly fire" which hit the militia.

The Iraqi drone opened fire at the militia at 19:30 GMT due to mistaken coordinates, said spokesman Colonel Mohammed al Assadi.

“The drone fired on the advancing Jund al-Imam forces, killing nine and wounding around 15," he said.

The US-led coalition has also responded to the accusation, with Baghdad-based spokesman of the coalition US Army Colonel Steve Warren denying that it targeted “friendly factions” in the country, saying coalition forces had not bombed any target in the area.

"It was Iraqi for sure," he said by phone.

A similar incident took place last month when US-led coalition air strikes "mistakenly" hit Iraqi troops near the city of Falluja, west of Baghdad.

TRTWorld and agencies