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Iraq strongly denounces US air strikes on Iran-backed groups as ‘Irresponsible’

Iraq strongly denounces US air strikes on Iran-backed groups as ‘Irresponsible’

Iraq strongly denounces US air strikes on Iran-backed groups as ‘Irresponsible’

Iraq strongly denounces US air strikes on Iran-backed groups as ‘Irresponsible’

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  • Iraq’s national security adviser Qassem al-Aaraji criticized the US action.
  • The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • The US is prepared to take further measures to protect its people.
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On Wednesday, the Iraqi government strongly condemned US strikes that targeted sites used by Iranian-backed groups. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani stated that the strikes “blatantly” violated the sovereignty of Iraq. The US asserted that its “proportionate” attacks focused on “Iran-affiliated groups.”

The paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) reported that the “treacherous” US action resulted in the death of one of their fighters. In strikes on their bases in al-Qaim, a town on the Syrian border in western Anbar province, and Jurf al-Nasr, in the central province of Babil, the PMF, predominantly consisting of Iran-backed Shia Muslim militias, noted that several other fighters suffered injuries.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin justified the strikes on three facilities belonging to the Kataib Hezbollah militia and other groups as a “direct response to a series of escalatory attacks” against US and international forces in Iraq and Syria.

Major General Yehia Rasool, a spokesman for Prime Minister Sudani, expressed in a statement that the US action was “contributing to a reckless escalation.”

“This unacceptable act undermines years of co-operation… at a time when the region is already grappling with the danger of expanding conflict, the repercussions of the aggression on Gaza,” he added, referring to the war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

He added that Iraq would consider the US operations “as acts of aggression” against its people on their land and urged the international community to help restore peace.

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Iraq’s national security:

Iraq’s national security adviser Qassem al-Aaraji wrote on X, formerly Twitter, stating that the US action would “not help bring calm.”

He added that “the US should pile on the pressure for a halt to the Israeli offensive in Gaza rather than targeting and bombing the bases of an Iraqi national body”.

In a ballistic missile and rocket attack on Iraq’s Al Asad air base in Anbar province last week, four US military personnel sustained injuries.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that the injured personnel had returned to duty and that there was no significant damage to facilities.

The US military’s Central Command (Centcom) stated that an Iran-backed militia targeted the air base, which hosts American troops.

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The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for that attack.

The umbrella group, comprised of several Iran-affiliated militias operating in Iraq, emerged in late 2023 and has claimed responsibility for other recent attacks against US forces.

Mr Austin said: “We do not seek to escalate conflict in the region. We are fully prepared to take further measures to protect our people and our facilities.”

“We call on these groups and their Iranian sponsors to immediately cease these attacks.”

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US personnel sustain injuries on a missile strike on Al Asad Airbase in Iraq
US personnel sustain injuries on a missile strike on Al Asad Airbase in Iraq

Iran-backed militias launched missiles and rockets at Al Asad airbase in western...

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