US-led coalition disowns air strike on Shiite mosque in Iraq

Smoke rises at Daesh positions in the town of Naweran, near Mosul, Iraq, on Sunday. An air strike on a Shiite mosque outside of Mosul last Friday was reported to have killed 15 worshippers and wounded dozens more. (REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)
Updated 23 October 2016

US-led coalition disowns air strike on Shiite mosque in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq: The US-led coalition on Sunday denied carrying out an air strike that killed 15 women at a Shiite place of worship in northern Iraq this week.
Russia pointed an accusatory finger at the coalition a day after Friday’s incident, in which local officials said women at a shrine in the town of Daquq were killed by an air strike.
The coalition “has determined definitively that we did not conduct the airstrike w/reported civilian casualties in Daquq,” spokesman Col. John Dorrian said on social media.
The local council chief and medics in Daquq, which lies south of Kirkuk and about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Baghdad, said the deadly incident was caused by an air raid.
If the coalition did not carry it out, the other aircraft most likely to have operated in the area are from the Iraqi air force or army aviation.
Neither have made any comment yet but the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said it ordered an investigation into the incident.
“The results will be announced as soon as it is completed,” a statement said.
Turkish jets have also routinely conducted air strikes in Iraq but they usually target Kurdish rebel positions in areas far removed from Daquq.
Recent incidents and discoveries in workshops used by the Daesh group suggest the jihadists have been trying to develop weaponized drones.
The Conflict Armament Research group said it had documented earlier this year a drone manufactured by Daesh forces and used in the Daquq area but described it as “too light to carry explosives or other weapons.”


Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

Updated 19 October 2019

Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

  • EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities as demanded by the US is not a genuine cease-fire
  • He calls on Ankara to immediately stop military operations,

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: Macron critizes Turkey's aggression in Syria as "madness', bewails NATO inaction

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried NATO’s inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“It weakens our credibility in finding partners on the ground who will be by our side and who think they will be protected in the long term. So that raises questions about how NATO functions.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities is not a genuine cease-fire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the cease-fire had unclear goals. 

There was no mention of the scope of the area that would be under Turkish control and, despite US Vice President Mike Pence referring to a 20-mile zone, the length of the zone remains ambiguous, she said.

Selim Sazak, a doctoral researcher at Brown University, believed the agreement would be implemented and the YPG would withdraw.

“The agency of the YPG is fairly limited. If the deal collapses because of the YPG, it’s actually all the better for Ankara,” he told Arab News. “What Ankara originally wanted was to take all of the belt into its control and eliminate as many of the YPG forces as possible. Instead, the YPG is withdrawing with a portion of its forces and its territory intact. Had the deal collapsed because of the YPG, Ankara would have reason to push forward, this time with much more legitimacy.”