Iraq and US military officials are at odds over who was responsible for an explosion in western Iraq on Wednesday that killed 22 Iraqi soldiers.
The explosion killed 22 soldiers at the headquarters of an army company in Iraq’s Ramadi city. An Iraqi military official claims that the explosion was the result of an airstrike launched from a U.S.-led coalition aircraft. According to the official, Iraqi aircraft do not operate in the area where the blast occurred. U.S. military officials, on the other hand, say that the coalition’s only airstrike in Anbar province on Wednesday was 33 km away from the area. U.S. military officials also told Reuters that Iraqi security force aircraft were in fact operating in the area of the ‘friendly-fire’ incident.
An alternative explanation is that Wednesday’s blast was caused by explosives planted under the building.
Iraqi army has launched offensives to drive the Islamic State out of Iraq’s Anbar province as well as to take back the city of Tikrit, but ISIS militants are fighting back. Recently, militants have launched a series of suicide attacks in the area. Iraqi military officers apparently called for air strikes in response to the increasing number of suicide attacks.