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Russia accuses Biden of seeking election boost with Syria, Iraq strikes

February 6, 2024 at 1:52 pm

US President Joe Biden gives a speech in Washington, DC, United States on January 19, 2024. [Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency]

Russia accused President Joe Biden, on Monday, of carrying out strikes in Iraq and Syria to boost his image as the presidential election campaign “is heating up” – not in retaliation for a deadly attack on US soldiers, Reuters reports.

The United States began the airstrikes on Friday against dozens of targets linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and allied groups after three US soldiers were killed in Jordan in an attack that Washington blames on Iranian-backed militias.

Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, at a meeting of the Security Council on the strikes which was requested by Moscow, said there was no justification for the US action.

“We see in these ‘flex their muscles’ attempts, first of all, a desire to influence domestic political landscape in America, a desire to somehow correct the disastrous image of the current American administration on the international arena as the presidential election campaign is heating up,” he said.

US voters will go to the polls in November to elect a president for the next four years. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Nebenzia’s remarks about Biden.

READ: Iraq should be ‘cleansed’ of US-led coalition forces, says PMF head

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, justified the US strikes in Syria and Iraq under Article 51 of the founding UN Charter, which covers the individual or collective right of states to self-defence against armed attack.

“Let me be clear: The United States does not desire more conflict in a region when we are actively working to contain and de-escalate the conflict in Gaza. And we are not seeking a direct conflict with Iran. But we will continue to defend our personnel against unacceptable attacks. Period,” Wood said.

He added that the strikes in Syria and Iraq were a “separate and distinct” operation from US and British strikes against the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen in response to the Houthi targeting of shipping in the Red Sea.

The Pentagon, on Monday, said it was not aware of any Iranian deaths in the recent strikes.

Iran’s UN Ambassador, Amir Saeid Iravani, condemned the US action as “illegitimate, illegal, and unjustified.”

“All of the resistance groups in the region are independent,” he told the 15-member UN Security Council on Monday.

“Any attempt to attribute these actions to Iran or its Armed Forces is misleading, baseless and unacceptable. Iran never seeks to contribute to the spill-over in the region.”

READ: China says it opposes violation of UN Charter, sovereignty after US strikes in Iraq, Syria