March 13, 2020 / 12:34 AM / 15 days ago

Iraqi religious authorities say U.S. air strike hit civilian airport

KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) - A U.S air strike hit an Iraqi civilian airport under construction in the holy Shi’ite Muslim city of Kerbala and killed one worker, Iraqi religious authorities said on Friday.

The United States said earlier it had mounted a series of precision air strikes on Thursday against an Iran-backed militia in Iraq it blamed for a rocket attack on a military base on Wednesday that killed one British and two American soldiers.

The Pentagon said the strikes targeted five weapons stores used by Kataib Hezbollah militants, including facilities housing arms used in past attacks on U.S.-led coalition troops.

Kerbala international airport construction site was hit by an air strike, the management of the Imam Hussein shrine said in a statement. A civilian construction worker was killed.

The airport’s construction is being funded by the shrine management.

“This airport is completely civilian and its construction is overseen by the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine in agreement with several Iraqi companies and by Iraqi civilian workers,” it said.

“The Imam Hussein Holy Shrine condemns this unjustified and blatant assault.”

Writing by Ulf Laessing and Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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