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US-led coalition delivers air strike on civilian procession in Iraq — Defense ministry

In the air strike, dozens of civilians were killed, with women and children among them

MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. Russian reconnaissance systems have recorded an air strike of the US-led coalition on a funeral procession in the town of Daquq, some 30 kilometers south of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. In the air strike, dozens of civilians were killed, with women and children among them, Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.

"On October 21, Russian reconnaissance systems registered an air strike delivered by a pair of warplanes on the populated locality of Daquq, some 30 kilometers south of Kirkuk, where there are no ISIS militants (Islamic State, the terrorist group outlawed in Russia - eds. TASS), according to our information," Konashenkov said. "Eyewitnesses report that the coalition’s aviation had mistaken a funeral procession for a group of militants. Dozens of Iraqi civilians died, including women and children."

"Such deadly strikes on peaceful settlements, which bear all characteristics of war crimes, are becoming practically daily routine for the international coalition’s aviation," he said underscoring that weddings, funerals, hospitals, police stations and humanitarian aid convoys had been frequent targets for the US-led coalition’s warplanes.

"We are closely following the situation in Iraq, where since October 17 the Iraqi forces supported by the international coalition’s air strikes have been conducting an operation to block ISIS militants in Mosul," the general said. "Just in the past 24 hours, the international coalition has carried out 22 flights of tactical aircraft and four unmanned combat aerial vehicles that delivered 19 strikes on different facilities in Iraq."

The ground operation to liberate Mosul from terrorists of Islamic State began on October 17. It involves the Iraqi troops, Kurdish units and the US-led coalition. Mosul - Iraq’s second largest city with a population of 1.3 million - has been controlled by terrorists for over two years.