Russia accuses US-led coalition of "war crimes" in Iraq

Russian Ministry of Defence spokesman says coalition airstrike killed 17 people including women and children

Russia accuses US-led coalition of "war crimes" in Iraq

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand on top of a military vehicle as they advance towards villages surrounding Mosul, in Khazer, Iraq | Image: Bram Janssen AP/Press Association Images

The Russian Defence Ministry says an airstrike in Iraq by the U.S led coalition has left dozens of civilians dead.

A ministry spokesman said a strike on Friday on a funeral procession in the town of Daquq has "all the signs of a war crime."

The town’s mayor, Amir Khodakram said an airstrike hit a funeral procession in the city centre on Friday, killing 17 people – mainly women and children – and wounding another 50.

He said it is not yet clear who carried out the airstrike and that an investigation is underway.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov said two jets from the US-led international coalition were involved in the strike – apparently after mistaking the procession for Islamic State militants.

AFP reports Mr Konashenkov said deadly attacks on civilian areas, “which have all the marks of war crimes,” are becoming “almost a daily routine for the international coalition.”

"Far too often, weddings, funeral processions, hospital, police posts and humanitarian convoys are targeted by the coalition," he said.

Mr Konashenkov’s statement comes after French President Francois Hollande accused Russia of committing war crimes in Syria - where Russian warplanes are carrying out airstrikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

While Russia has welcomed the US-backed Iraqi push to retake the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the two superpowers are sharply divided on Syria.

The U.S. military in Baghdad have yet to comment on the accusations.