Pentagon chief: US airstrike that killed Iraqi soldiers a ‘mistake’

Pentagon chief: US airstrike that killed Iraqi soldiers a ‘mistake’
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Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says an airstrike Friday that killed as many as 10 Iraqi soldiers was a “mistake that involved both sides.”
 
“These kinds of things happen when you’re fighting side by side as we are,” Carter told reporters aboard the USS Kearsarge in the Persian Gulf, according to CBS News.
 
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He added that the airstrike had “all the indications of being a mistake of the kind that can happen on a dynamic battlefield.”
 
He said he called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to express condolences.
 
The Pentagon chief did not provide additional details about the airstrike, which was one of several conducted on Friday targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
 
Carter said the “regrettable” strike was an indication of “how closely we are working with the government” of Iraq to combat ISIS.
 
One senior U.S. defense official told CBS Radio News correspondent Cami McCormick the incident was likely due to “fog of war” and actual fog, saying bad weather could have been a factor in the incident.
 
“The folks on the ground who we were communicating with were closer to the targeting area than we understand,” the official said.
 
An investigation into the airstrike in ongoing.