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Iraqi resistance groups condemn deadly US airstrike on border, urge probe

Iraqi resistance groups have denounced a US military airstrike on resistance groups on the Iraqi-Syrian border, calling for an investigation into the aerial assault.

Early on Friday, two American F-15E Strike Eagles dropped seven, precision-guided munitions on facilities used by the anti-terror groups in the city of Abu-Kamal near the Iraqi border.

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said the air raid “was authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq and to ongoing threats to those personnel. We recognize the significance of this operation as the first of its kind under the new administration” of US President Joe Biden.

He also claimed that Iraqi investigative and intelligence work “helped lead to these successful strikes.”

Qais Khazali, leader of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, a subdivision of anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, said the deliberate continuation of the US attacks is in line with the Zionist regime’s interests and to the detriment of the Iraqis.

“We condemn the targeting of the headquarters of Hashd al-Sha’abi, which is performing its task of protecting Iraq’s borders with Syria. This vile act shows the hostile policies of the new US government,” Khazali underlined.

“We emphasize that the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is the only way to achieve stability in the country. The people’s will, political decisions and the strength of the Iraqi resistance are sufficient to realize that goal.”

Hadi al-Amiri, head of Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament called on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to launch an investigation into the deadly US strike as well as the alleged intelligence cooperation between the Iraqi government and the Pentagon.

“Our intelligence indicates that, contrary to Washington’s claims, Hashd al-Sha’abi and not the Iraqi Islamic Resistance in Syria was the target of the attack,” al-Amiri said.

Iraqi lawmaker and Fatah spokesman Ahmed al-Asadi said the US act of aggression killed and injured 30 people.

“The repetition of the US bombing of Hashd al-Sha’abi positions and the barracks belonging to the Iraqi armed forces on the Syrian border is a clear violation of sovereignty and condemned,” he said, urging the Iraqi government, nation and political factions to unite against such attacks.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s al-Nujaba movement warned that the new US crime that targeted the PMU forces would not go unanswered.

Anti-US sentiment has been running high in Iraq following Washington’s assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and PMU deputy head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Two days after the cowardly US assassination operation, the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution that called for the expulsion of all foreign forces, including the Americans.

Iraq rejects US claims on intelligence cooperation

In a statement carried by al-Sumaria television network, Iraq’s Defense Ministry expressed surprise at the US claims about intelligence cooperation with Baghdad prior to Friday’s strike.

It said that Iraq’s ties with the US-led coalition forces are restricted to the fight against the Daesh terrorist group while preserving the country’s independence and sovereignty.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry also rejected the US claims, saying the cooperation with the coalition is only focused on boosting the capabilities of Iraqi security forces in policing works.

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