Iraqi Shiite militia says 40 of its fighters killed in Syria

A powerful Iraqi Shiite militia says at least 40 of its militiamen have been killed in an attack across the border in Syria.

The deputy head of the militia, which is known as Kattaib Sayeed al-Shuhadaa, blames U.S. forces for the assault.

The spokesman of the U.S.-led coalition, Army Col. Ryan Dillon, dismissed the allegation.

The militia's Ahmed al-Maksousi says U.S. forces hit their base in Syria's Jamouna area with artillery early on Monday. The area is about 12 kilometers — around 7.5 miles — from the Iraqi border. He claims that was followed by an on-the-ground attack by the Islamic State group.

Al-Maksousi says that along with 40 killed, at least 30 militiamen were wounded.

Several Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militias have been fighting in Syria alongside Syrian government troops.