Iraq Denounces US Air Strikes as Sovereignty Violation
US Air Strikes: In a significant development, the Iraqi government has condemned the United States’ recent airstrikes on sites associated with Iranian-backed groups within its borders. The spokesperson for Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani expressed strong disapproval, stating that the strikes blatantly violated Iraq’s sovereignty.
PMF Claims Casualties in Treacherous US Action
The Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), predominantly comprising Iran-backed Shia Muslim militias, reported casualties following what they described as a “treacherous” US airstrike. One fighter was killed, and several others were injured as the strikes targeted PMF bases in al-Qaim and Jurf al-Nasr.
US Justifies Airstrikes as Response to Escalatory Attacks
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin defended the airstrikes, characterizing them as a “proportionate” response to a series of escalating attacks against US and international forces in Iraq and Syria. The strikes specifically targeted facilities belonging to the Kataib Hezbollah militia and other affiliated groups.
International Calls for De-escalation Amidst Rising Tensions
Major General Yehia Rasool, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Sudani, criticized the US action, stating that it contributes to a “reckless escalation” in the region. He called on the international community to aid in restoring peace, emphasizing the importance of cooperation during a time when the region faces multiple challenges.
Iraqi National Security Adviser Criticizes US Approach
Iraq’s national security adviser, Qassem al-Aaraji, took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his concern. He stated that the US airstrikes would not contribute to calm and urged the US to pressure a halt to the Israeli offensive in Gaza instead of targeting Iraqi national body bases.