Officials: Iraqi pilots dropped aid to ISIS

Inexperienced Iraqi military pilots mistakenly dropped food, water and ammunition into Iraqi territory controlled by Islamic militants, according to two Iraqi officials.

Supplies intended for embattled Iraqi military fighting in the country’s western province of Anbar ended up in territory controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to NBC News.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hakim al-Zamili, a lawmaker in Iraq's parliament who is on the nation's Security and Defense Committee, said "those soldiers were in deadly need of these supplies" but instead benefitted ISIS due to "wrong plans of the commanders in the Iraqi army and lack of experience" among the Iraqi pilots. 

An unnamed Iraqi brigadier general confirmed the Sept. 19 incident and said some Iraqi Air Force pilots "do not have enough experience ... they are all young and new."

The aid drop reportedly happened two days before ISIS fighters killed at least 40 Iraqi soldiers and captured dozens more after rolling in on stolen Humvees disguised as Iraqi military vehicles, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. and its partners have carried out more than 230 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8 and another 76 in Syria, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Tuesday.

The United Kingdom, Belgium and Denmark late last week joined the U.S., France and Iraqi Air Force in conducting airstrikes in Iraq. Britain's Royal Air Force conducted its first strikes Tuesday, dropping two bombs to assist Kurdish troops in northwest Iraq.

The White House welcomed the decision announced last week that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar would join U.S. airstrikes launched against ISIS in Syria.