Pentagon chief: US strike that killed Iraqi soldiers seems to be ‘mistake’ involving 2 sides
ABOARD THE USS KEARSARGE (AP) — The American airstrike that may have killed a number of Iraqi soldiers on Friday seems to be “a mistake that involved both sides,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday. Iraq pledged to punish those responsible.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to the USS Kearsarge in the Persian Gulf, Carter said the incident near the western Iraqi city of Fallujah was “regrettable.” He called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to express condolences.
“These kinds of things happen when you’re fighting side by side as we are,” Carter said. He said the airstrike Friday “has all the indications of being a mistake of the kind that can happen on a dynamic battlefield.”
Iraq’s defense minister, Khalid al-Obeidi, told reporters in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, that the strike killed one officer and nine soldiers. He said Iraq had begun an investigation and that the “wrongdoer would be punished according to Iraqi law.” He did not elaborate.
Despite living in such a war-torn area, apparently the first Miss Iraq since 1972 has been crowned. freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2015/12/20/iraq-gets-first-beauty-queen-since-1972/
BAGHDAD: It was smoky, alcohol-free and there was no swimsuit contest, but Saturday’s party produced the first Miss Iraq in four decades and left all feeling a small victory had been won.
“Some people out there think we don’t love life,” said Humam al-Obeidi, one of the organisers, as the crowd spilled out of the Baghdad hotel ballroom where the pageant was held.
The jury chose Shaymaa Abdelrahman, a tall, green-eyed 20-year-old from Iraq’s multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk.
The decision was popular with those in attendance, especially in the back rows, where young men with hispter beards and tight blazers had been standing on their chairs shouting her name.
“I’m very happy to see Iraq going forward,” the new beauty queen told AFP as she tried to fend off a scrum of admirers hoping to clinch a selfie. “This event was huge and put a smile on the faces of the Iraqis.”