Iraqi government forces keep watch from a position on the southern outskirts of Tikrit, on March 30, 2015, during a military operation to retake the city from ISIS jihadis. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Iran's Revolutionary Guard said a U.S. drone strike killed two of its advisers near the Iraqi city of Tikrit, where a major offensive is underway against ISIS, but the U.S. said Monday its coalition conducted no airstrikes in the area during the time of the incident.It did not say whether Iran contacted Iraqi or U.S. forces after the strike.Iran occasionally reports on the death of its forces in Iraq and in Syria, where its advisers support embattled President Bashar Assad, but this is the first time Iran has said it lost forces in a U.S. attack in those campaigns.The ground offensive to retake Tikrit has been waged by Iraqi troops and Shiite militias advised by Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force.But Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate hearing Thursday that the U.S. agreed to Iraqi government requests to support the operation on the condition that the militias wouldn't be involved.
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