40 Iraqi Shia paramilitary fighters killed in US airstrikes

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Baghdad, Aug 8 (IANS) Forty Iraqi Hashd Shaabi fighters were killed when the US forces pounded its posts near Syria border, the Shia paramilitary unit said on Tuesday, warning the attack will not go unpunished.

The US forces carried out “heavy bombardment on Monday morning on the posts of Sayyd al-Shuhadaa Brigades in Akashat area near the border with Syria,” Xinhua cited the unit as saying in a statement.

It said the group “holds the US forces responsible for the consequences of the action. We declare that it will not go without punishment”.

The unit also called on the Iraqi government to launch a probe into the incident, and urged Iraq to protect border with Syria “in order to deprive the Americans from using the border line to pass their malicious agendas”.

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The media reports said around 30 persons were wounded in the US artillery bombardment on the units posts in western Iraq.

The incident came as the Iraqi forces, including the Hashd Shaabi units and Sunni tribal fighters, prepare to liberate the IS-held town of Tal Afar, about 70 km from Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in July declared Mosul’s liberation from the IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in the country.

–IANS

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