Iran calls U.S. attacks on Iraqi forces ‘clear example of terrorism’

December 30, 2019 - 12:39

TEHRAN — Iran on Monday denounced U.S. airstrikes against Iraqi forces as a “clear example of terrorism”.

“U.S. military aggression against the Iraqi soil and positions of al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces is a clear example of terrorism and is strongly condemned,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement, using the Arabic name of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Mousavi said the attacks once again exposed Washington’s lies in fighting the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group because it has “targeted positions of forces who have dealt heavy blows to Daesh terrorists in recent years.”

He urged the U.S. to respect Iraq’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and stop intervening in the country’s domestic affairs. 

“With these attacks, the U.S. demonstrated its unswerving support for terrorism and disregard to independence and sovereignty of countries,” the spokesman asserted.

Mousavi also said the United States must accept responsibility for consequences of this “illegal measure”, and described presence of foreign forces in the region is a cause of insecurity, unrest and crisis.

“The U.S. must end its occupying presence,” he stated.

Mousavi also expressed his deepest sympathy for families of the victims of the United States’ “terrorist attack”, saying the Islamic Republic supports Iraq’s independence, territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

Zarif: America kills people across globe in the name of self-defense

Foreign Minister Zarif also reacted to the incident, saying the U.S. kills people thousands of miles beyond its borders in the name of self-defense.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mousavi says the United States must accept responsibility for consequences of this “illegal measure”.“The recent U.S. measure in Baghdad was merely an example of such U.S. behavior in the region,” he said in Moscow on Monday, upon meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

On Sunday, U.S. forces conducted drone strikes on a number of Kata'ib Hezbollah bases in Iraq’s western Anbar province, killing at least 25 individuals and leaving another 51 injured, according to the PMU.

The targeted Kata'ib Hezbollah forces belonged to brigades 45 and 46 of the PMU, according to PMU official Jawad Kazim al-Rabi'awi.

Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the attacks as being unacceptable and damaging for the country, adding that the strikes were contrary to security agreements inked between Baghdad and Washington, according to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, also said that Adel Abdul-Mahdi, currently Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, has voiced his opposition to the attacks in a message to U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

“Bombing PMU bases is a dangerous aggravation which endangers the security of Iraq and the region,” Iraqi media sources cited Abdul-Mahdi as saying.

Following the attacks, the Pentagon issued a statement saying that it had targeted three locations of the Iraqi fighters in Iraq and two in Syria in response to alleged attacks targeting American forces.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said top officials had briefed President Donald Trump on the attacks.

“We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” Pompeo told reporters in Palm Beach, Florida.

Earlier this month, Pompeo blamed Iranian-backed forces for the attacks on American military bases in Iraq and threatened that any attacks by Tehran or proxies that harmed Americans or allies would be answered with a decisive U.S. response.

“We strongly condemn the Iranian proxy attack that wounded five Iraqi soldiers near the Baghdad Airport this week. To Iran’s leaders - the U.S. will respond decisively if #Iran or its proxies harm U.S. personnel or our Iraqi partners,” Pompeo said in a Twitter post on December 13.

Tehran has rejected U.S. claim of involvement in the attacks as “false allegations”.

Mousavi said at the time that Tehran understands that the easiest job for the United States is to launch charges.

MH/PA

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