BAGHDAD – The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State said Saturday it did not conduct any airstrikes near Camp Taji north of Baghdad.
Iraq’s military also denied Saturday that an airstrike had taken place on a medical convoy in Taji, north of Baghdad.
Earlier Saturday, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of paramilitary groups said airstrikes near camp Taji had killed six people and critically wounded three. Iraqi state television had said they were U.S. airstrikes.
“FACT: the coalition … did not conduct airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in recent days,” a spokesman said on twitter.
The PMF said the attacks hit a convoy of medics, not senior leaders as reported in some media. However, the PMF later issued another statement saying that no medical convoys were targeted in Taji.
A U.S. airstrike on Baghdad airport Friday killed Qassem Soleimani, Tehran’s most prominent military commander and the architect of its growing influence in the Middle East, and the leader of Iraq’s PMF Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The overnight attack, authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump, was a major escalation in a “shadow war” in the Middle East between Iran and the United States and American allies, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The PMF are holding an elaborate funeral procession for both men and others who died in the same airstrike starting in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, moving toward the Shiite holy city of Kerbala and ending in the Shiite holy city of Najaf.
Thousands gathered in Baghdad ahead of the start of the procession early Saturday morning, some waving Iraqi and militia flags.
– – –
Photo “Camp Taji” by Ahodges7. CC BY-SA 3.0.