U.S. had no role in strike that killed Iraqi troops near Syria: ambassador

A U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender refuels a British aircraft during a sortie to support Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq, March 22, 2017. Extenders have provided fuel to coalition aircraft to weaken and destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Air Force photo by Senior Tyler Woodward.

Baghdad ( The United States forces had no role in the recent airstrike that killed Iraqi paramilitary troops near the borders with Syria, its ambassador in Iraq was quoted saying.

The media office of Iraqi Vice President Usama al-Nujaifi quoted ambassador Douglas Silliman saying during a meeting with Nujaifi that “the U.S. had no hand in the bombardment of Iraqi factions at Boukamal, a Syrian city near the borders with Iraq.

According to the ambassador, “the U.S. has no aerial presence at that area”.

On Monday, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, a paramilitary force recognized by the government as part of the national troops, said U.S. airstrikes killed 22 of their fighters at the border areas inside Syria. The force’s media said the U.S. was aware of the forces’ presence at that region.

But a spokesperson of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria officially denied the reports. Moreover, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command’s media office said it had no troops at Boukamal, but criticized the strikes.

Iraqi forces have launched a number of military offensives against Islamic State militants in Syria over the past few months. The Iraqi government declared late 2017  the recapture of all territories occupied by the militants in Iraq since 2014.

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