An air raid by US planes in Anbar kills civilian women and a child.
“The [Iraq] invasion has killed more innocent people than any other dictator”
A Ali Al-Shammarri, London, UK
Air support was then called in and 18 more people were killed, it added.
|“If there is a weapon with or next to the person or they are holding it, they are a terrorist.”
Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, US military spokesman
Garver told AFP news agency that the dead women would have been confirmed as combatants in a “battle damage assessment” or inspection of the site following the incident.
In March, Iraqis accused US forces of shooting 11 people in al-Ishaqi, including four women and five children, while US forces maintained it had only killed two women and a child in an air strike.
The BBC later broadcast video footage from the scene showing people with gunshot wounds. The soldiers involved in the case, however, were cleared of all misconduct.
The US military also announced on Friday the death of a soldier who was conducting joint operations with the Iraqi army when a roadside bomb exploded.
Elsewhere Kofi Annan, the outgoing secretary-general of the UN, said the worsening conflict in Iraq is increasing the odds of a regional war in the Middle East.
In his final report on the UN role in Iraq before he leaves office on December 31, Annan said on Friday the violence threatened to “aggravate a range of underlying tensions in neighboring countries.”
As a result, “the prospects of all-out civil war and even a regional conflict have become much more real” since his last report, issued three months ago, he said.
His comments appeared to go beyond earlier expressions of concern about the deteriorating situation in Iraq.
He said in a BBC interview aired this week that Iraq was in the grips of a civil war and many people were worse off now than under Saddam Hussein.