IRGC slams U.S. attacks as violation of Iraq’s sovereignty

December 31, 2019 - 19:22

TEHRAN — Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has strongly denounced the U.S. attacks on the Iraqi popular forces, emphasizing that the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – also known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi – has the right to avenge the attacks.

According to international law and charters, the people of Iraq and al-Hashd al-Shaabi reserve the right to take revenge and respond to the recent crime committed by the Americans, the IRGC said in a statement on Monday, Tasnim reported.

The statement also described the attacks as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

The IRGC also stressed that the criminal act by the American forces once again proved that the U.S. is the root cause of insecurity, chaos and tensions in the region.

Eviction of “American occupying terrorists” from Iraq will guarantee the Arab country’s stability and sustainable security, the statement added.

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 PMU.

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

Baghdad and Tehran condemned the attacks.

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).

On Tuesday, dozens of protesters broke into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area.

The embassy was evacuated as many angry Iraqi demonstrators gathered outside the gates of the compound to condemn Washington’s attack.

The protesters chanted “Death to America” and burned the U.S. flag.

The protesters further held up signs calling for the U.S. mission to be shut down and for the parliament to order U.S. forces to leave Iraq.

Hashd al-Shabi commander Faleh al-Fayyadh and Kata’ib Hezbollah commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes along with other senior Hashd leaders were among the protesters.

Speaking to Reuters, Qais al-Khazali, the head of Asaib Ahl al-Haq — another PMU faction — said “Americans are unwanted in Iraq. They are a source of evil and we want them to leave.”

Also on Tuesday, Iraqis held a massive funeral procession in the capital Baghdad for the victims of the attack, according to Press TV.

Caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has announced three days of public mourning.

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Iran of being behind an attack on the U.S. embassy in Iraq, saying the U.S. will hold Iran “fully responsible”.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq,” Trump said via Twitter on Tuesday.

“They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!” he added.

MH/PA

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