US denies involvement in air attack that killed at least 15 civilians near Kirkuk Iraq

An apparent airstrike thought to be by the US-led coalition in Iraq is reported to have hit a Shi'ite mosque in the town of Daquq just on the outskirts of Kirkuk. At least 15 civilians were killed as a funeral procession was hit. Scores were wounded.

The Pentagon issued a statement on Sunday denying any involvement in the Friday attack. The statement said they had determined definitively that they were not involved in any airstrikes against Daquq that resulted in civilian casualties. An article in finds the exact wording significant since the statement does not deny either launching an attack on Daquq or even attacking a mosque there. Colonel John Dorrian made the statement on social media.
There are not believed to be any Islamic State fighters near the town. Locals insist that the attack was carried out by an airplane but they weren't able to identify to whom it belonged. One report claims that the victims were all women: "Fifteen women were killed and another 50 wounded in a raid that targeted a Shiite place of worship at Dakuk," local council chief Amir Huda Karam told AFP.
Not surprisingly, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement accusing the U.S.-led coalition of launching the strikes. Echoing the accusations of the U.S. and others about Russian and Assad bombing in Aleppo, the Ministry described U.S.-led airstrikes on residential areas as "war crimes". Major General Igor Konashenkov claimed:"On October 21, Russian reconnaissance means detected airstrikes of two warplanes on Daquq town located near Kirkuk where no Daesh militants are present, according to our data. According to witnesses' reports, a mourning procession has been mistakenly identified by the coalition's aviation as a group of militants. Dozens of Iraqi civilians, including women and children died."Daesh is an Arabic term for the Islamic State. Konashenkov claimed that the coalition often made errors in targeting.
The only other planes that would likely be in the area are from the Iraqi air force or army. Neither had made any comment as yet, but Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi said an investigation into the incident had been ordered and the results would be announced as soon as it was concluded. Although Turkish planes have also conducted airstrikes in Iraq they have been in areas far from Daquq.


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