WASHINGTON -- Iraqi pilots mistakenly delivered food, water and ammunition to Islamic State militants on a recent mission that was meant to supply their own service members with the supplies, NBC News reported.
"Some pilots, instead of dropping these supplies over the area of the Iraqi army, threw it over the area that is controlled by ISIS fighters,” Hakim Al-Zamili, a member of the Iraqi parliament and a senior security official, told NBC. “Those soldiers were in deadly need of these supplies, but because of the wrong plans of the commanders in the Iraqi army and lack of experience of the pilots, we in a way or another helped ISIS fighters to kill our soldiers."
A brigadier-general in Iraq’s Defense Ministry also confirmed the news to NBC, attributing it to pilots who were "young and new." The incident reportedly occurred on Sept. 19.
The Pentagon declined HuffPost's request for comment, referring all questions over to the Iraqi Security Forces.
The reliability of the Iraqi military has been an issue since President Barack Obama's announcement that he planned to step up the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The United States in June began stepping up support for Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq. It has been striking targeted sites in Iraq since early August and began bombing locations in Syria on Sept. 23.
Obama has said he does not want to put U.S. forces on the ground in a combat role to fight militants and instead will rely on partners in those countries. But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey recently said that about half of the Iraqi army is incapable of effectively working with the United States to battle the Islamic State, while the other half needs help rebuilding with additional training and equipment.
CORRECTION: This article has been edited to correct the day of the reported air drop. It was Sept. 19, not Tuesday.