RAMADI, Iraq, June 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of 69 people were killed and some 144 others wounded on Tuesday in air strikes carried out by unidentified aircraft on two Iraqi cities in the western province of Anbar, a provincial police source said.
A plane bombed the area near the local government of the city Rutba, where many civilian cars were queuing outside a fuel station, leaving some 50 people dead and 122 others wounded. Many close-by vehicles and buildings were also damaged, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The other air strike hit a resident tower at a marketplace in the city of al-Qaim, killing 19 people and wounding 22 others, the source said, adding that the bombing also set the building on fire, while several nearby shops and architectures were also inflicted.
Residents in both cities believed the warplanes were with the Syrian air force, yet the source could not confirm the allegations.
Meanwhile, the state-run Iraqiya television reported that U.S. drones bombed insurgent posts in al-Qaim, but it is still not clear whether the two incidents have any connections.
The two cities have been under control of Sunni militant groups after the Iraqi security forces withdrew from them a few days ago.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid a visit to Baghdad, during which he confirmed the U.S. support to the Iraqi security forces.
"The U.S. support to Iraqi security forces will be intense and sustained, and if Iraq's leaders take the necessary steps to bring the country together, it will be effective," said Kerry.
Over the past two weeks, Iraq has seen a deteriorating security situation when bloody clashes broke out between security forces and Sunni militants, who have now seized several key Iraqi cities, and large swathes of territories in Nineveh province and other predominantly Sunni provinces.