US nearly bombed friendly Iraqi forces instead of ISIL: General

A top US military commander has revealed that the US-led airstrikes nearly targeted Iraqi forces instead of terrorists of the ISIL group.

Lt. Gen. John Hesterman, the US commander of the air campaign in Iraq, said on Friday that aircraft nearly launched airstrikes 100 times on friendly Iraqi forces because they were indistinguishable from ISIL from the air, Stars and Stripes reported.

The general added that the attacks were averted but could have threatened the operations and undermined the war against the terrorists.

“It has never been more difficult to identify friend from foe than it is right now in Iraq. It is nearly impossible to tell them apart when they dress nearly the same and use the same equipment,” Hesterman told reporters at the Pentagon.

“So imagine if those strikes had been made, even a fraction of them, what we call blue-on-green fratricide. My opinion is the coalition would have unwound some time ago,” he added.

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