On August 7, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) lost a high number of personnel as a result of an ISIS attack and unprofessional actions of the US-led coalition at the border area with Syria.
ISIS launched a large attack on the First Brigade of the PMU in the Akashat area at the Iraqi side of the At Tanf border crossing engaging PMU units in an intense fighting. According to initial reports, the US-led colaition conducted at least 1 air strike on the positions of the PMU.
Later Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (a PMU group deployed in the area) clarified that the US-led coalition used the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System that had been deployed at the At Tanf garrison controlled by the coalition forces.
The ISIS attack was repelled but the PMU suffered heavy casualties.
According to reports, from 40 to 70 PMU members were killed (according to various sources) and dozens others were injured as a result of the incident. Furthermore, at least 6 units of the PMU military equipment, including technicals and buldozers, were destroyed.
According to reports, a son of the head of Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada was also killed.
Just learned among the ones that were killed is the head of Sayed Al-Shuhada son.
This might escalate quickly. pic.twitter.com/WRs3Bc6eUF
— Iraqi Day 🇮🇶 (@iraqi_day) 7 августа 2017 г.
The US-led coalition obviously denies any strikes on the PMU in the border area.
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) 8 августа 2017 г.
At the same time pro-US sources speculate that the PMU just tries to blame the US-led coalition for own losses in the battle against ISIS. Unfortunately, these sources forget mentioning multiple “accidental” US-led coalition military strikes on the PMU and the Iraqi Army during operations against ISIS accorss Iraq.
In any case there are no dobuts that tensions between the US-led coalition and the PMU will grow further as a result of the incident. The two sides already have complicated relations because they support differend sides in the ongoing Syrian conflict and have different visions of the Iraqi future after the collapse of ISIS.