Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi ordered an investigation into Friday’s alleged friendly-fire incident. He said the aircraft were supporting Iraqi forces battling ISIS because poor weather had grounded the country’s helicopters. The victims included one officer, according to al-Obeidi.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter called Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, to express condolences. Carter later told reporters that the incident appeared to be “a mistake that involved both sides.”
A senior security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the U.S.-led coalition was asked to launch the strikes because bad weather wouldn’t allow for the Iraqi Air Force to launch on ISIS posts.
The U.S-coalition airplanes then launched two accurate strikes, but when soldiers moved, a commander had to report on the unit’s new position, which is when the Iraqi soldiers were hit, the security official said. “It’s the mistake of the commander of the regiment,” the official told NBC News.