Iraq, Syria, Iran strongly condemn Washington following deadly airstrikes

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Feb 2024

US strikes in the west of Iraq killed at least 16 people, including civilians, and wounded 23, Iraqi government spokesman Bassem al-Awadi said on Saturday, as both Baghdad and Damascus issue stern rebuke against Washington.

A view of the base, known as Tower 22, which is operated by US troops as part of an international co
A view of the base, known as Tower 22, which is operated by US troops as part of an international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, near Jordan s border with Iraq and Syria in the northeastern Rwaished District. AFP


The strikes hit "locations in the Akashat and Al-Qaim regions, including areas where our security forces are stationed", Awadi said in a statement.

"The security of Iraq and the region will find itself on the brink of an abyss" because of the strikes, Awadi said.

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Baghdad.

On Friday, a White House spokesperson said the United States had "warned the Iraqi government before the strikes".

Al-Awadi vehemently denied any prior coordination between Washington and Iraqi officials regarding the airstrikes, refuting the claims made by the US.

Awadi accused the United States of "deception and distortion of facts" and called the suggestion "an unfounded claim crafted to mislead international public opinion and evade legal responsibility" for what he said was a breach of international law.

"This aggressive air strike will push the security situation in Iraq and the region to the brink of the abyss," the spokesman said.

Awadi condemned the use of Iraq's territory as a "battleground for settling scores" and repeated his government's call for the withdrawal of the US-led international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq.

The coalition had "deviated from its assigned tasks and granted mandate," he said, and was "endangering security and stability in Iraq".

The Syrian foreign ministry also condemned the US saying the strikes served to "inflame the conflict in the Middle East in an extremely dangerous way".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the strikes killed at least 18 fighters in eastern Syria.

It said pro-Iran fighters were evacuating positions in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor for fear of more US strikes in the coming hours.

The United States carried out the strikes on Friday following the killing of three US military personnel in a drone attack on a base close to Jordan's border with Syria and Iraq.

Washington blamed the unclaimed attack on the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose alliance of fighters opposed to US support for Israel in Gaza.

Tehran has denied any links to the attack.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said the overnight operation was "another strategic mistake by the US government, which will have no result other than intensifying tension and instability."

In a statement, Kanaani describes the retaliatory strikes as "violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of both countries.

There are roughly 2,500 US troops deployed in Iraq and about 900 in Syria.

Since mid-October, there have been more than 165 drone and rocket attacks against coalition troops in Iraq and Syria, with most being claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

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