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Iraqi Controversy Fueled by Qaim Air Strikes | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People run in panic after a coalition airstrike hit ISIS positions in Tahrir neighbourhood of Mosul, Iraq, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Baghdad- Ariel bombardment against Iraqi town Qaim, located in the Al Anbar Governorate near the Syrian border, had reportedly killed 60, most of which were civilians igniting a nationwide controversy.

Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim al-Jabouri rushed into ordering an official investigation, saying that the raids had targeted a civilian area which caused the death of dozens and the injury of others.

Jabouri called for taking penal action against responsible officials behind the attack. The targeted area is claimed to have been a neutral civilian market.

Parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri said the air strikes targeted “civilian shopping centers, causing the martyrdom and wounding of dozens”, and called for the perpetrators to be punished.

“The speaker holds the government responsible for such mistakes, asking them to open an immediate inquiry to find out the truth of the incident and to guarantee that civilians are not targeted again,” his office said.

Iraq’s joint military command, responding more than 24 hours after the incident, criticized media and politicians for telling what it accused of being a “fake story” from Qaim. It said the town, and all information coming from it, was controlled by ultra-hardline terror group ISIS.

Iraqi air force planes carried out two missions shortly after midday on Wednesday, it said, targeting buildings where around 50 terrorists and suicide bombers, all foreigners, were sheltering.

The command’s statement said that the aerial campaign had operated under the objective of eradicating a terror hideout at a two-story building. At least 25 suicide bombers of foreign nationalities were present at the site, in addition to Abu Masira Al Caucasi, the suicide ring’s organizer.

The U.S.-led international coalition in Iraq denied staging any raids in Qaim’s vicinity at the time of the attack.

At least 66 civilians were killed and 88 injured in the unidentified strike, various sources reported.