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Iraq has voiced strong condemnation of a recent US military strike on its territory, escalating tensions and suggesting the potential expulsion of American forces.
The strike, which targeted an Iranian-backed militia leader in Baghdad, was labeled a “blatant assassination” by Yahya Rasool, spokesperson for Iraq’s commander-in-chief. Rasool added, “By this act, the American forces jeopardize civil peace, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and disregard the safety and lives of our citizens.”
Image credit: AHMED SAAD
The continuous conflict has strained the relationship between Baghdad and Washington, with Iraq expressing concerns about being drawn back into war and viewing US actions against its militias as security threats. The Iraqi government, which hosts approximately 2,500 American troops for operations against ISIS, is reevaluating the presence and role of US forces amidst these tensions. Discussions on the future of the fight against ISIS and American troops’ status in Iraq have become intertwined with the challenges posed by Iranian-backed militias, pushing the Iraqi government toward considering the termination of the US coalition’s mission in the country.
More on the Attack:
The attack, occurring Wednesday night local time, resulted in the death of a senior commander from the Kata’ib Hezbollah group, alongside two officials. This incident adds to the ongoing confrontations between US forces and Iranian-backed militias in the region, with over 160 attacks on American troops reported in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, as well as additional threats in the Red Sea from Yemen’s Houthis.
Despite retaliatory strikes by the US, including a significant operation against 85 targets in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian proxies continue their assaults in retaliation to US support for Israel’s campaign in Gaza.