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Russia says US coalition jets killed civilians near Kirkuk
October 22, 2016, 5:14 pm

A member of the Kurdish security forces stands guard near an oil field attacked by the Islamic State earlier in the year [Xinhua]

A member of the Kurdish security forces stands guard near an oil field attacked by the Islamic State earlier in the year [Xinhua]

The Russian Ministry of Defense on Saturday said that its reconnaissance aircraft detected two US-led coalition fighter jets carrying out an air raid on the city of Daquq, just south of Kirkuk and Mosul.

The Ministry of Defense says that according to its intelligence sources there are no Islamic State fighters in that area.

Ministry spokesperson General Igor Konashenkov said that the fighter jets struck a funeral procession which included women and children.

“Judging by the eyewitness accounts, the mourning procession was mistaken for terrorists by the coalition aviation. Dozens of Iraqi civilians died, including women and children,” Konashenkov said in statements picked up by local Russian media.

Iran’s Press TV said that at least 15 women were among those killed

Konashenkov went on to say that such attacks by US-led coalition fighter jets happened far too often and constituted war crimes.

Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Russian and Syrian air forces must answer for attacks on hospitals in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo; these attacks, he said, amounted to war crimes.

In July, human rights activists in the Syrian city of Manbij, northeast of Aleppo and close to the Turkish border, said that US-led coalition aerial bombing killed 117 people, 73 of whom were civilians, mostly women and children. The remaining dead were charred beyond recognition and could not be identified.

There has been no comment yet from the US Department of Defense.

During its daily report on Operation Inherent Resolve – the US-led campaign against the Islamic State – it did not mention any sorties over Daquq.

However, it reported an attack on an Islamic State convoy in Huwaijah, 40 kilometers west of Daquq.

The attacks near Kirkuk come after about 40 Islamic State fighters – some of whom were sleeper cells – attacked police and security buildings in Kirkuk.

Some 80 people died and another 117 were wounded in clashes with security forces who managed to kill all attackers.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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