A deadly attack by US helicopter gunships killed tens of civilians in Baghdad’s Sadr City.
US troops called in airstrikes last Sunday during a botched attempt to seize a local leader of the Mehdi Army, the Shia resistance group led by rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
According to witnesses, US helicopters swept over the impoverished neighbourhood, firing machine guns and rockets into crowded buildings.
One witness, Jassim Hashim, who was hit in the leg, told a news agency, “The helicopters were shooting randomly.” Some 49 people died, including many children.
The US announced recently that it was fighting a “proxy war” with Iran in the Shia Muslim areas of Iraq, despite a call by al-Sadr for his fighters to observe a ceasefire.