34 pro-government fighters killed, wounded in U.S. airstrike on Syria

Airstrike by the US-led international coalition aircraft.

Baghdad ( – Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces said on Monday that up to 34 fighters its members were killed and wounded Sunday after the U.S.-led international coalition targeted a military outpost in the Syrian city of Albu Kamal.

“At 22:00 last night a U.S. plane hit a fixed headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Forces’ 45th and 46th brigades defending the border strip with Syria using two guided missiles which led to the martyrdom of 22 fighters,” it said in a statement.

According to the statement, the airstrike left 12 others wounded.

“The U.S. should issue a detailed statement on that issue, especially that such airstrikes have been recurrent throughout the past period, when the country was involved in a war against terrorism,” the statement added.

Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, have actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.

PMFs won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has recurrently defended PMFs against domestic and foreign accusations of committing human rights violations.

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