Iraqi Government Says 16 Including Civilians Killed In US Strikes In Iraq – NDTV

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There are roughly 2,500 US troops deployed in Iraq. (File)

Baghdad, Iraq:

US strikes in the west of Iraq against armed pro-Iran groups killed at least 16 people, including civilians, and wounded 23, Iraqi government spokesman Bassem al-Awadi said on Saturday.

The strikes hit “locations in the Akashat and Al-Qaim regions, including areas where our security forces are stationed”, Awadi said in a statement.

The United States carried out the strikes on Friday in retaliation for the killing of three US military personnel in a drone attack on a base close to Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq.

Washington blamed the unclaimed attack on the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose alliance of pro-Iran fighters opposed to US support for Israel in Gaza.

Tehran has denied any links to the attack.

On Friday, a White House spokesperson said the United States had “warned the Iraqi government before the strikes”.

But Baghdad denied there had been any coordination with Washington prior to the bombings.

Awadi accused the United States of “deception and distortion of facts” and called the suggestion “an unfounded claim crafted to mislead international public opinion and evade legal responsibility” for what he said was a breach of international law.

“This aggressive air strike will push the security situation in Iraq and the region to the brink of the abyss,” the spokesman said.

Awadi condemned the use of Iraq’s territory as a “battleground for settling scores” and repeated his government’s call for the withdrawal of the US-led international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq.

The coalition had “deviated from its assigned tasks and granted mandate,” he said, and was “endangering security and stability in Iraq”.

There are roughly 2,500 US troops deployed in Iraq and about 900 in Syria as part of the coalition formed in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group — the year the jihadist group overran around a third of Iraq.

Since mid-October, there have been more than 165 drone and rocket attacks against coalition troops in Iraq and Syria, with most being claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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