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KRG: Iraqi Kurdistan Region Waiting for Baghdad’s Expulsion of US Forces

Representative of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Tehran Nazim Dabaq said that the KRG is waiting for the central government's expulsion of the American forces from the country.

“The Kurdistan region is waiting for the central government in Iraq to declare its official decision to expel the US forces,” Dabaq said in an interview with the Persian-language ANA news agency on Tuesday.

He added that the Kurdistan region has always supported the Iranians’ presence in Erbil, stressing that Erbil will never allow the Iraqi Kurdistan region to be used as a platform for attacks, threats and insecurity against the neighbors, specially Iran.

The Iraqi parliament called on the government in January 2020 to work to end all foreign troop presence as a backlash grew after the killing of the senior Iranian and Iraqi military commanders in the US strike in Baghdad.

Dabaq’s remarks came as a rocket attack in the Northern Iraqi city of Erbil on Monday killed a civilian contractor with the US-led military coalition and wounded six others, including a US service member, said a US-led coalition spokesman.

Several other rockets landed in residential areas of the city, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including one close to the Chinese consulate.

A newly-established militant group that calls itself ‘Saraya Awliya al-Dam’ has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.

The group claimed that it fired 24 rockets from an area 7 kilometers away from the US-occupied al-Tahrir military base, all of which hit their targets as the coalition air defenses failed to intercept the rockets.

Iran has rejected any role in the attack.

The Iranian foreign ministry dismissed and condemned suspicious rumors about the country’s role in the Monday night missile attacks against the US interests in Erbil, and called on the Iraqi government to punish perpetrators of the attack.

“These rumors are strongly rejected, the suspicious attempts to attribute the attack to Iran are also strongly condemned,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Tuesday.

“Iran views Iraq’s stability and security a key issue for the region and its neighbors, and rejects any action that disturbs peace and order in this country,” he added.

Khatibzadeh described as suspicious such attacks in Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to pursue the case and punish those behind the move.

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