The recent U.S. strikes on Iraq have claimed the lives of soldiers, policemen and a civilian, the Iraqi military’s Joint Command revealed on March 13.
In an official statement, the Joint Command said several U.S. warplanes carried out a “blatant aggression,” attacking several positions of the army’s 19th Commandos Division, the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 46th Brigade, Babylon’s Police Regiments as well as an under construction airport near Karbala city.
As a result of the U.S. airstrikes:
- Three soldiers of the 19th Commandos Division were killed. Four others were injured, two of them are in a critical condition.
- Two policemen of Babylon’s Police Regiments were killed. The bodies of the policemen are yet to be recovered from under the rubble.
- Five fighters of the PMU’s 46th Brigade were injured.
- A civilian worker in Karbala’s airport was killed.
The Joint Command stressed that these are only the initial results of the airstrikes. This indicates that the total number of casualties could rise in the upcoming few hours.
“The leadership stresses its strong condemnation of this attack that targeted the Iraqi military, violating the principle of partnership and alliance between Iraqi security forces and those who planned and carried out this treacherous attack [the U.S.], which caused the loss of lives of Iraqi fighters,” the Joint Command’s statement reads.
The U.S. Department of Defense claimed that the strikes had targeted “weapons storage facilities” of Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH). The losses, however, indicate that this was inaccurate.
The strikes were carried out in response to the March 11 Camp Taji attack, in which three service members of the U.S.-led coalition were killed.
The fierce U.S. response, which didn’t discriminate between KH and Iraqi government forces will very likely leave a dent in Washington’s relations with Baghdad. The attack could also speed up Iraqi measures to expel U.S. forces from the country.