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Baghdad condemns US strike on Iraq military positions

December 27, 2023 at 11:50 am

Members of the group Kataeb Hezbollah, one of the factions of Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces – PMF) paramilitaries, carry the body of their fallen comrade Hassan Hammadi al-Amiri during his funeral in Baghdad on December 26, 2023, after he was killed earlier in a US airstrike. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraq’s government yesterday condemned overnight US air strikes on Iraqi military positions that it said killed one serviceman and wounded 18 people, calling them a “clear hostile act”, Reuters reports.

The United States carried out retaliatory air strikes on Monday in Iraq after a one-way drone attack earlier in the day by Iran-aligned groups that left one US service member in critical condition and wounded two others.

The government condemned the US strikes as “an unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty” while stressing that attacks by armed groups against military bases hosting US-led coalition advisers are hostile acts and violate Iraqi sovereignty, a government statement said.

Two Iraqi security sources said overnight US strikes targeted the headquarters of Iraqi armed group Kataib Hezbollah in the Iraqi city of Hilla south of Baghdad.

One fighter from Kataib Hezbollah was killed in the strikes and 16 were wounded, said two security sources on condition of anonymity.

The Iran-aligned Kataib Hezbollah criticised the government position for condemning the Iraqi militia attacks against the US-led coalition targets, a security official from the group said in a social media post. The group vowed to continue attacks against US forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has limited control over some Iran-backed factions, whose support he needed to win power a year ago and who now form a powerful bloc in his governing coalition. Many of the factions also do not see eye-to-eye on actions against US forces.

The United States has 900 troops in Syria and 2,500 in Iraq on a mission it says aims to advise and assist local forces trying to prevent a resurgence of Daesh, which in 2014 seized large swaths of both countries before being defeated.

Most of the troops are positioned around oilfields and support the export of natural resources from both countries.

‘Clear hostile act’: Iraq condemns US attacks on its military sites