#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Baghdad) – June 27 – The Iraq crisis escalated Friday a U.S. official confirmed to CNN that armed American drones started flying over Baghdad in the previous 24 hours to provide additional protection for 180 U.S. military advisers in the area.
Until now, U.S. officials had said all drone reconnaissance flights over Iraq were unarmed.
Using the drones for any offensive strikes against insurgent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters would continue to require approval from U.S. President Barack Obama.
The news came on the same day that Human Rights Watch said two mass graves believed to contain the bodies of Iraqi soldiers, police and civilians killed by the Sunni ISIS fighters and their militant allies have been discovered in Saddam Hussein’s home-town of Tikrit.
Claims of atrocities by both sides have increased as the conflict widens in Iraq.