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Iraq condemns strikes targeting forces fighting Islamic State

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Iraq condemns strikes targeting forces fighting Islamic State

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Iraq on Tuesday condemned air strikes targeting forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq or Syria after Syrian state media said that U.S.-led coalition aircraft had bombed a Syrian army position near the Iraqi border, causing deaths and injuries.

In a statement, Iraq's Foreign Ministry said that it "expresses rejection and condemnation of any air operations targeting forces in areas where they are fighting ISIS, whether in Iraq or Syria or any other area where there is a battlefield against this enemy that threatens humanity."

The statement added that the ministry reiterates its call for all countries to stand together to face these "extremist groups," and it sees the necessity for an international coalition to coordinate regularly and accurately with the forces fighting these groups as well as to offer help and support.

Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces, a grouping of mostly Iran-backed Shi'ite paramilitaries, also said on Monday a U.S. air strike on the Iraqi border with Syria killed 22 of its members and wounded 12 others.

However, an Iraqi military statement later said no Popular Mobilisation Forces or other Iraqi troops tasked with securing the Iraqi-Syrian border had been hit by the air strike, and it had taken place inside Syria.

The U.S. military denied it was responsible.

(Reporting by Nayera Abdullah, editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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