Iraqi President condemns ‘unacceptable’ US attack on PMU

TEHRAN, Dec. 30 (MNA) – Iraqi President Barham Salih slammed the Sunday attack of US forces against Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, describing the act as unacceptable.

In a short statement, Salih said that the attacks are contrary to security agreements signed between Iraq and US, reported the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

US forces launched deadly airstrikes against Kata'ib Hezbollah bases, which is part of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), on Sunday night, claiming that the attacks have been in response to alleged attacks targeting US and coalition forces.  

According to PMU, the attacks have left at least 25 individuals martyred and another 51 injured. The targeted Kata'ib Hezbollah forces belonged to brigades 45 and 46 of the PMU, according to PMU official Jawad Kazim al-Rabi'awi.

The attack has been widely condemned by different Iraqi figures.

Iraqi caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi voiced his opposition to the attack in a message to US Defense Secretary Mark Esper. "Bombing PMU bases is a dangerous aggravation which endangers the security of Iraq and the region," Iraqi sources cited Abdul-Mahdi as saying.

The premier also reportedly ordered Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) to not allow any air or land-based operations to take place in the country without the government's approval.

The air raids were welcomed by Israel's foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, who described the event as a "turning point in the regional response to Iran and its proxies".

Kata'ib Hezbollah, along with other units operating under the PMU, has had a major role in defending Iraq from the Deash Takfiri terrorist group, which swept across Iraq in 2014.

Kata'ib Hezbollah issued a short statement, describing the attacks as ‘humiliation for the sovereignty and honor of the Iraqi nation’.

The statement calls on Iraqi security forces to ‘prepare for a new page’ of ‘honor and dignity’ in kick out US forces from the country.

The PMU's second-in-command, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, highlighted that American forces will receive a harsh response for the incident.

Falih Khazali, a lawmaker affiliated to Iraq's Fatah parliamentary bloc, said that the raids signaled that the US "has entered into a clear war with Iraq" and that it has not yet "learned from the consequences of its occupation of Iraq".

Senior Iraqi Shia cleric and political leader Ammar al-Hakim also described the American raids as a clear violation of Iraq's sovereignty and security agreements signed between the two countries. He called on the government and parliament to adopt a firm position in response to the American strikes.

According to the Yemeni al-Masirah news network, Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement has also condemned the US attacks and has called on Arab and Muslim countries to reject foreign intervention in the region and to support the government and people of Iraq.

MNA/PR

News Code 153860

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