Blundering Iraqi air force pilots gave vital supplies of food, water and ammunition to Islamic State militants instead of their own beleaguered troops.
The aid drops were meant to help Iraqi soldiers desperately fending off jihadist fighters near Saqlawia in the western province of Anbar.
Hakim Al-Zamili, an Iraqi MP who is a member of the security and defense committee, said the mistake had effectively allowed ISIS to kill off its besieged soldiers.
Because most of the extremist group’s weaponry was seized from Iraqi forces during its lightning offensive in June, the extra ammunition would have given its fighters a critical edge in the battle.
Al-Zamili told NBC News: ‘Those soldiers were in deadly need of these supplies, but because of the wrong plans of the commanders in the Iraqi army and lack of experience of the pilots, we in a way or another helped ISIS fighters to kill our soldiers.’
A brigadier-general in Iraq’s Defense Ministry, who declined to be named, confirmed the incident, which happened on September 19.
The officer also put the error down to a lack of experience, saying the pilots are ‘all young and new’…