U.S. Airstrikes Kill 16, Injure 25 In Iraq

Himalaya Times
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The Iraqi government said Saturday that the U.S. airstrikes on the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces in western Iraq killed 16 people, including civilians, and injured 25 others.

Calling the airstrikes "blatant aggression," government spokesman Basim al-Awadi told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that "the U.S. administration violated Iraq's sovereignty when its aircraft conducted airstrikes on the positions of our security forces in the Akashat and al-Qaim areas, as well as neighboring civilian places."

Al-Awadi also denied reports that claimed there was coordination between the government and the U.S. administration about the airstrikes, stressing that these reports are "a false claim aimed at misleading international public opinion and evading legal responsibility for this crime," according to the INA.

He also said that the government believes that the presence of the international coalition forces on Iraqi soil has become a threat to security and stability in Iraq and a justification for involving Iraq in regional and international conflicts.

Al-Awadi warned that the recent airstrikes put security in Iraq and the region on the brink of the abyss, adding, "Iraq renews its refusal to make its lands an arena for settling scores."

The U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Friday that the U.S. forces conducted airstrikes on more than 85 targets in Iraq and Syria against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and affiliated militia groups.

The U.S. airstrikes came in response to recent attacks by Iranian-backed militias that caused the first U.S. fatalities since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out on Oct. 7, 2023.

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