US-Iraqi joint force mistakenly kills eight

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Members of US and Iraqi joint force mistakenly killed eight people and wounded 10 others when they engaged in a clash with local police and paramilitary tribal fighters in Iraq's western province of Anbar on Saturday.

The incident took place after midnight when a US and Iraqi joint force raided a house of a terrorist suspect in the town of al-Baghdadi, some 190 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Captain Mohammed al-Dulaimi from the provincial police told Xinhua.

The local police and paramilitary tribal fighters were surprised by the raid and came to the site to identify the troops.

But a clash erupted between the two sides and US helicopter gunships pounded the local police and the tribal fighters, Dulaimi said.

A US helicopter also bombarded a convoy of Colonel Salam al-Obeidi, head of the town's police, while his convoy approached the battlefield.

 Some policemen, including Obeidi himself, were killed in the clash, Dulaimi added.

The incident came after the Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi units fought fierce battles with Islamic State (IS) militants during the past years and reclaimed key cities and towns from the extremist group, including the provincial capital of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad.

On Dec 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.

But the remnants of small groups and individuals of IS militants are still capable of carrying out attacks from time to time.