Iranian News Media Agency claims that on March 23rd, two Iranian guardsmen were killed by a US Drone strike in Tikrit Iraq.
The official IRNA news agency said the two had been posted to Iraq as advisers in the war against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists and that they died in the drone strike on March 23. (Scroll Down for Video)
Pictures of the two men, named as Ali Yazdani and Hadi Jafari, were posted on Iranian news websites after their funerals on home soil.
The Fars news agency called Jafari, 29, the third “martyr in defence of the shrines” from the northern Iranian city of Amol. Yazdani was buried in Tehran, it reported.
However, the US Department of Defense said in a statement that it had not conducted air strikes in the Tikrit area on the date the men were said to have been killed.
“Coalition forces initiated air strikes near Tikrit on March 25, two days after the alleged incident occurred and no air strikes were conducted in or near Tikrit on March 23,” said Major Omar Villarreal, a spokesman for US Central Command.
“We have no information to corroborate claims that coalition air strikes killed two IRGC members,” he added, referring to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups have for weeks been heavily involved in fighting in Tikrit, seeking to reclaim the city, the home of the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, from IS.