Iraq condemns US air strikes against Iranian-backed militias

Iraq's National Security Council says it will "reconsider" working with US-led coalition following air strikes.

Elad Benari ,

Iraqi troops
Iraqi troops
Reuters

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Monday condemned US air strikes on bases of Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, Reuters reports.

The US military carried out air strikes on Sunday against the Kataib Hezbollah militia in response to the killing of a US civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, killing at least 25 militia fighters and wounding 55.

Repeated mortar and rocket attacks have since late October targeted American interests in the country, where the US has 5,200 troops deployed as part of the international coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

“The prime minister described the American attack on the Iraqi armed forces as an unacceptable vicious assault that will have dangerous consequences,” Abdul Mahdi’s office said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The air strikes will force Iraq to reconsider working with the US-led international coalition against ISIS, the National Security Council said in a statement.

Iraq’s foreign ministry said it would summon the US ambassador in Baghdad to voice Baghdad’s disapproval.

Top US officials declared that a series of airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq were “successful”, and hinted that the US was preparing for future attacks on Iranian assets in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would confront Iran and its proxies for its attacks on American forces in the region.

The recent tensions come amid US accusations that Iran has been moving short-range ballistic missiles into Iraq.

A report last year said that Iran had transferred short-range ballistic missiles to its Shiite allies inside Iraq.

Iran rejected the report, claiming it aimed to harm Iran’s ties with its neighbors. Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said the article was “without evidence”, though it stopped short of denying its contents.




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