Baghdad, AP—Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps says a US drone strike has killed two of its advisers in Iraq, though the US said on Monday it has only struck militants in its campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
The claim came as negotiators on Monday attempted to reach a deal on Iran’s contested nuclear program, which hardliners in the Islamic Republic have opposed as giving away too much to the West.
The Revolutionary Guard said on its sepahnews.ir website the strike happened March 23, just after the US-led coalition began airstrikes to support Iraqi forces trying to retake the ISIS-held city of Tikrit. It identified the dead as Ali Yazdani and Hadi Jafari, saying they were buried on Sunday.
It called them advisers, without elaborating on whether Iran contacted Iraqi or US forces after the strike.
The US-led coalition began a campaign of airstrikes and reconnaissance missions around Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, on March 21.
Reached by The Associated Press, the US Embassy in Baghdad said: “The international coalition is aimed at Da’esh only,” using an alternate Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“All airstrikes are carried out through the alliance with the Iraqi government and in full coordination with the [Iraqi] Ministry of Defense,” the embassy said, without directly addressing the Iranian claim.
ISIS now controls a third of both Iraq and neighboring Syria. The US began airstrikes against the group in August, while Iran has offered advisers and other assistance to Iraq to fight the extremists.