Iraqi PM condemns U.S. attacks on central province

(Xinhua) 11:19, December 04, 2023

BAGHDAD, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Iraq rejected any attack by U.S. forces on its territory, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani said on Saturday during a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Al-Sudani emphasized that the U.S. airstrikes on positions of armed groups linked to the Iraqi Hashd Shaabi paramilitary forces in the Jurf al-Nasr area in the central province of Babil constitute a violation of Iraqi sovereignty, according to a statement issued by al-Sudani's media office.

"At the same time, al-Sudani reiterated the Iraqi government's commitment to protect international coalition advisors working in Iraq," the statement said.

Blinken called on the Iraqi government to protect installations hosting American personnel and to pursue those responsible for attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq, according to the State Department of the U.S..

Al-Sudani and Blinken also discussed developments in the Palestinian territories and agreed to stabilize the truce, stop attacks, and ensure that the Israel-Hamas conflict does not expand in a way that poses a real threat to security and stability in the region, the Iraqi statement added.

On Nov. 22, U.S. aircraft attacked positions of the Hashd Shaabi forces in the Jurf al-Nasr area, south of Baghdad, leaving eight of its fighters killed and wounding four others.

The U.S. airstrikes came after the armed group "Islamic Resistance in Iraq," an umbrella body for Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, claimed responsibility for carrying out a series of rocket and drone attacks on military bases housing U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.

The attacks by the armed group are believed to be part of retaliatory measures amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Immediately after the airstrikes, al-Sudani condemned in a statement the U.S. airstrikes and described them as a clear violation of the coalition's mission, which is to fight the Islamic State militants on Iraqi soil.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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