POLITICS

U.S. Denies Reports Of Another Strike North Of Baghdad [UPDATE]

Iraq has also denied that another airstrike took place one day after the Pentagon admitted to killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The U.S. and Iraq have both denied reports of another deadly airstrike against Iran in a region north of Baghdad. 

“FACT: The Coalition @CJTFOIR did NOT conduct airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in recent days,” a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, Col. Myles B. Caggins III, posted to Twitter. 

Local reports from Iraq claimed early Saturday that another airstrike had targeted a militia convoy linked to the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces. 

But an Inherent Resolve spokesperson told HuffPost that Iraq also denies that “any strike took place” overnight that targeted a PMF-linked convoy.

Inherent Resolve is the name given to the American-led coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Reuters reported that the alleged strike at 1:12 a.m. local time killed six people and critically wounded three others, citing an Iraqi army source. Two of three vehicles reported to be in the convoy were found burned, the outlet said. An Iraqi military source also gave similar details to The Associated Press.

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces said in a statement that those allegedly killed in the strike were medics with the paramilitary group, not senior leaders, according to Reuters.

The confusion came one day after the Trump administration admitted to killing a top Iranian military official, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, during an airstrike on Baghdad International Airport, dramatically escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The countries have been at odds since U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reinstated sanctions against the country, damaging Iran’s economy.

Soleimani was one of the most powerful figures in the Middle East and the central figure in Iran’s significant network of influence across the region. Leaders in Iran called for three days of mourning over the attacks and warned of “forceful revenge.”

This story has been updated with American and Iraqi denial of the reported strikes. 

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