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Iraq warns of consequences after US air strikes

Iraq warns of consequences after US air strikes
2 min read
13 March, 2020
The Iraqi military warned of consequences in response to the US' precision air strikes on weapons storage facilities in the country, which Iraq said killed six people.
The US unleashed a wave of precision air strikes in Iraq early on Friday [Getty]
Iraq warned of dangerous consequences in response to US air strikes it says killed six people, Reuters reported on Friday, as the country deemed the attacks a violation of sovereignty and targeted aggression against its national armed forces.

The United States previously unleashed a wave of precision air strikes early on Friday which targeted the weapons storage facilities of a powerful Iran-backed militia group in Iraq. The Iraqi military said one civilian and five security personnel were killed in the attacks.

The US' strikes came in retaliation to a Wednesday rocket attack on Baghdad's Camp Taji military base, which killed two Americans and one British soldier.

Iraqi President Barham Salih stated repeated acts such as Friday's air strikes could turn Iraq into a failed state and revive the Islamic State group. Iraq's military warned of consequences in response to the attacks.

Iraq's foreign ministry announced a decision to file a complaint to the United Nations, according to Reuters, in addition to summoning American and British ambassadors.

"The pretext that this attack came as a response to the aggression that targeted the Taji base is a false pretext; one that leads to escalation and does not provide a solution," Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said in a statement. 

The US stated the targets were legitimate and stored Iranian-supplied weapons used by the Kataib Hezbollah militia to attack the American-led coalition.

"These locations that we struck are clear locations of terrorist bases," said Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US military’s Central Command.

"If Iraqis were there and if Iraqi military forces were there, I would say it’s probably not a good idea to position yourself with Kataib Hezbollah in the wake of a strike that killed Americans and coalition members," he told a Pentagon news briefing, according to Reuters.

Hours before launching the missile strikes, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper stated: "The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies."

Friday's air strikes marked the latest major escalation in tensions between Tehran and Washington.

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