U.S.-led coalition denies shelling paramilitary troops near borders

Artillery shelling. File photo.

Baghdad ( The U.S.-led coalition has denied allegations of shelling Shia-led militias deployed near Iraqi-Syrian borders.

“Allegations of Coalition strikes vs. Popular Mobilization Forces near Iraq – Syria border are inaccurate. No Coalition strikes there ATT [at that time],” the Baghdad-based spokesman of the U.S.-led coalition, army Col. Ryan Dillon tweeted on Tuesday.

On Monday, Sayyid al-Shuhada brigades, a militia of the Shia-led al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said U.S. troops heavily shelled its positions across the Iraqi-Syrian borders early on Monday.

In a statement on its website, the militia said the shelling left huge number of personnel killed and injured.

The militia also urged protection of Iraqi-Syrian borders, threatening punishment for shelling.

In May, Abu Alaa al-Wala’i, the secretary general of the militia, said the U.S. jets shelled the PMUs deployed in alBou Kamal region, near Iraqi-Syrian borders.

In November 2016, the Pentagon said the U.S.-led coalition would not provide air support to the PMUs.

Badr Organization, which works under the umbrella of the PMUs, announced announced earlier this year reaching to Iraqi-Syrian borders.

PMUs, an alliance of more than 60 mostly Shia militias, are recognized by the Iraqi government as a national force under the Prime Minister’s command.

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