Iraq Condemns US Strikes, Signals Push to End Troop Presence
Story Code : 1115028
Yahya Rasool, military spokesperson for Iraqi Prime Minister Shia' al-Sudani, emphasized on Thursday that the US coalition "has become a factor for instability and threatens to entangle Iraq in the cycle of conflict."
“This path pushes the Iraqi government more than ever before to end the coalition's mission which has become a factor of instability for Iraq,” Rasool stated.
Despite the United States maintaining 2,500 troops in Iraq to advise and assist local forces in countering Daesh, they have reportedly targeted anti-terror groups integrated into Iraq's official armed forces.
In a recent incident, a US military drone strike targeted a vehicle, resulting in the death of three individuals, including a senior commander of Iraq's Kata'ib Hezbollah resistance group identified as Abu Baqir al-Saadi.
Tensions have escalated since October, with anti-terror groups in Iraq and Syria which see themselves as part of a regional "axis of resistance" have been involved in almost daily tit-for-tat attacks with US forces stationed in the region.
The Iraqi government, alarmed by US aggression, is urging Washington to engage in discussions regarding a timeline for troop withdrawal.
Last week, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to resume talks suspended since three American soldiers were killed in a drone attack in Jordan borders.
Prime Minister Sudani's office previously asserted that the presence of US troops in the region "has become a reason for threatening security and stability in Iraq and a justification for involving Iraq in regional and international conflicts."
The Iraqi government's discontent escalated following US airstrikes that resulted in the deaths of at least 16 Iraqis, ordered by President Joe Biden in response to the drone attack on the American base in Jordan borders.
Rasool cautioned that Washington's actions would have "disastrous consequences for the security and stability of Iraq and the region."