Iraq military denies U.S.-led airstrikes on Iraqi forces near border with Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-19 05:05:06|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi military on Monday denied that the Iraqi forces near the border with Syria were bombarded by any airstrike.

"All of our security forces from the army, police and the Hashd Shaabi (paramilitary units) are securing the Iraqi borders, including the Iraqi-Syrian border, and these forces have not been bombarded by airstrikes or any other attacks," the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

The statement confirmed that the airstrikes targeted a security headquarters in al-Hiri area in south of al-Bukamal in eastern Syria, which has orchards and residential buildings located some 1.5 km from the Iraqi border within the Syrian territory.

The JOC confirmed "there was no coordination between our security forces and those units that were bombed by aircraft or something else that led to the casualties there."

Earlier in the day, the Shiite-dominated Hashd Shaabi said in a statement that 22 of its members were killed and 12 others wounded in suspected U.S.-led airstrikes on its base inside Syria near the Iraqi border.

The JOC statement came despite Hashd Shaabi claimed that its headquarters inside Syria has been known to both the Syrian government and the Iraqi JOC since the end of operations that liberated the border areas with Syria late in 2017.

However, a U.S. military spokesman denied that the U.S.-led coalition aircraft conducted any strike in the area, saying "we're looking into who that could possibly be but it wasn't the U.S. or the coalition."