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At least 20 Iraqi pro-government fighters have been killed when the US-led coalition targeted their position near the militant-held northern city of Mosul, media reports say.
A local source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US-led military aircraft struck a building in the Kharaeb village of the al-Qayyarah region, located approximately 300 kilometers north of the capital, Baghdad, on Wednesday morning, leaving 20 Iraqi tribal fighters dead and five others injured, Arabic-language Shafaq news agency reported.
The source added that the fighters were members of a clan led by a tribal elder identified as Sheikh Nazhan Lahibi.
The pro-government forces had reportedly gathered at the site when the aerial attack took place.
Last December, over 20 Iraqi soldiers were killed and 30 injured in an air strike carried out by the US military.
Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, Hakim al-Zamili, said the incident took place near the town of al-Naimiya in the western province of Anbar after Iraqi government forces had liberated “a strategically important area” from Takfiri Daesh militants.
The United States and some its allies have been carrying out air strikes in Iraq since June 2014 allegedly targeting Daesh terrorists in the northern and western parts of the conflict-plagued Arab country.
Gruesome violence has beleaguered the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh extremists mounted an offensive there more than two years ago, and took control of portions of Iraqi territory.
Iraqi army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units are trying to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.