Iraq’s military spokesperson on June 28 issued a rare condemnation of the US airstrikes against militia targets on the country’s border with Syria and called it a “breach of sovereignty.”
However, issuing a statement criticizing US airstrikes, Iraqi military spokesperson Yehia Rasool denounced the “unacceptable violation” that reportedly killed at least four Iran-aligned Shi’ite Muslim paramilitary fighters.
Under the direction of US President Joe Biden, the American military carried out airstrikes against what it described were “facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups” near the border between Iraq and Syria.
Earlier on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhemi also condemned the overnight US airstrike against the Iran-backed armed groups. The statement issued from his office stated, “We condemn the US air attack that targeted a site last night on the Iraqi-Syrian border, which represents a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.” The US military leads an international coalition in Iraq and is believed to be working closely with the Iraqi military in tackling the remnants of the Daesh group.
Pentagon Press Secretary on US airstrikes
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby noted that the targetted region on June 27 was being used by militia to launch unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against the US troops in Iraq. What Kirby described as “defensive” airstrikes were also the second such action taken by the Biden administration in the same area since he took over the office in January. In a statement, the Pentagon Press Secretary said, “The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation — but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message.”
Kirby said, “The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.”
“Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries. Several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), used these facilities,” he added.