Baghdad claims that its “sovereignty” has been violated by the strikes.
The Iraqi government denounced the US for a series of airstrikes that claimed the lives of eight fighters supported by Iran, claiming that they infringed upon Iraqi sovereignty.
According to government spokesperson Bassem al-Awadi, the US did not coordinate with Iraq the raids on militia sites south of Baghdad on Tuesday and early on Wednesday morning. He went on to say that the bombings are a “unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”
The Hezbollah Brigades, a pro-Iranian group Kataib Hezbollah, said on Wednesday that eight of its men had perished in the US attacks. It issued a statement threatening that the assaults “will not go unpunished.”
The strikes were carried out in retaliation for “attacks against US and coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups,” according to the US Central Command.
US stances are criticized
Since Iran-backed troops in Iraq unleashed a barrage of attacks on US sites in retaliation for Washington’s support of Israel in the ongoing Gaza war, the US has not before declared any strikes against those forces.
However, Washington has targeted organizations in neighboring Syria that receive support from Iran, where it has also faced criticism for its stances.
According to the Pentagon, US soldiers stationed in Iraq and Syria have been assaulted at least 66 times since the Gaza conflict broke out on October 7, injuring over 60 personnel.
According to a statement from the Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the most recent of these incidents was on Monday when militias supported by Iran fired a “close-range ballistic missile against US and coalition forces at Al-Asad Airbase,” wounding eight people and triggering US retaliation.
The Iran-backed organizations that Washington accuses of often targeting its personnel have been criticized by Iraqi spokesman al-Awadi, who claims they are “jeopardizing the national interest” and “engaging in unlawful activity.”
The US-led coalition battles ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq, and its soldiers are based at the Ain al-Assad airfield in Anbar region, west of Baghdad.
There are about 900 US personnel in Syria and about 2,500 in Iraq as part of the military’s attempts to stop ISIL from rising again.