An air raid by US planes in Anbar kills civilian women and a child.
The Agence France Presse news agency said it passed its own photographs of the dead children to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, a US military spokesman, who said: “We’ve checked with the troops who conducted this operation – there were no children found among the terrorists killed.
“I see nothing in the photos that indicates those children were in the houses that our forces received fire from and subsequently destroyed with the air strike.”
Residents said that one entire family had been killed.
“The [Iraq] invasion has killed more innocent people than any other dictator”
A Ali Al-Shammarri, London, UK
He also told the AFP news agency: “This is the third crime done by Americans in this area of Ishaqi. All the casualties were innocent women and children and everything they said about them being part of al-Qaeda is a lie.”
He told Al Jazeera that he was calling for an international investigation into the attack.
Abdullah Hussain Jabbara, deputy governor of Salah al-Din governorate, told Al Jazeera: “Residents of the two houses [which were bombed] have nothing to do with al-Qaeda network. All the people killed are members of the same family.”
The US said the dead were ‘al Qaeda terrorists’
Local officials and Iraqi police had said on Friday that they believed 32 civilians had been killed in the attack.
The statement said troops had come under fire, and “despite efforts to subdue the remaining armed terrorists, coalition forces continued to be threatened by enemy fire, causing forces to call in close air support … resulting in 18 more armed terrorists killed.”
Garver told AFP news agency on Friday that the dead women would have been confirmed as combatants in a “battle damage assessment” or inspection of the site following the incident.
Only a handful of complaints involving civilian deaths in Iraq have led to criminal investigations by the US military.
“I can promise you that, in every one of these incidents, they will be fully investigated,” Lieutenant-General Peter Chiarelli, the second-ranking US general in the country, said.
Al Jazeera contacted the US military for further comment following the release of the television footage.