An airport under construction in Iraq’s central Karbala province was hit in a US bombing raid on militias, with photos showing debris scattered across the site. The US said earlier the strikes were “precise” and defensive.
Photos have emerged online showing the Karbala International Airport, expected to be Iraq’s largest airport once completed, having been crippled by the US airstrike on Thursday night.
The strike shattered windows in what appears to be one of the airport’s main buildings, and debris could be seen scattered on the ground.
An airport official confirmed to Reuters that the facility sustained a direct hit from US forces.
Unconfirmed reports suggest a construction worker may have been killed in the raid, which the Pentagon insisted earlier was conducted with “precision” and for purely defensive purposes.
The US military claimed that it targeted “five weapon storage facilities” allegedly operated by Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah militia – part of the country’s paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – a group the US has blamed for attacks on its forces in Iraq.
A total of 18 rockets pelted Camp Taji base on Wednesday, killing two US troops and one member of the UK Royal Army Medical Corps, identified since as Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon. The base, located 27km north of Baghdad, is used by the US coalition to train Iraqi security forces.