The Iraqi military and the presidency have condemned new US airstrikes, saying they killed soldiers, police officers and civilians overnight.
“The Iraqi Presidency condemns airstrikes on several bases in Iraq, including a recently opened airport in the Holy City of Karbala which led to the death of security forces and civilians,” the presidency said in a statement on Friday.
The Iraqi military also denounced the US strikes as a targeted aggression against the nation’s official armed forces and a violation of its sovereignty.
According to the Iraqi military statement, three soldiers, two police officers and one civilian were killed in the attacks.
The statement said four soldiers, two police officers, one civilian, and five individuals affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) were also wounded.
The Pentagon had said earlier on Friday that the strikes targeted five weapons stores used by Iraqi groups that “targeted US forces.”
Iraqi resistance groups denied such accusations even though they supported fighting occupying US forces.
The attack came only a day after more than a dozen Iraqi fighters were killed in airstrikes targeting an area in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
The attacks are the most provocative since the US assassinated Iran’s top anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s PMU commander Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis in an airstrike at Baghdad airport in January.
Iraqi groups have pledged to take revenge for the assassination and ultimately drive out US troops from the country.
After the assassination, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel American troops, prompting President Donald Trump to threaten that the US would seize Iraq’s oil money held in a bank account in New York if it was forced to withdraw.
Calls mount for expulsion of US troops
Following the overnight attack, Iraqi figures and officials stepped up calls for the expulsion of US troops from the country.
“We condemn the violation of Iraq’s sovereignty by foreign fighter jets and bombing of bases belonging to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and security forces,” senior cleric and political leader Ammar al-Hakim said in a tweet.
He also called on the Iraqi government to take whatever steps needed to defend the country from the assaults.
Iraqi lawmaker and Security and Defense Commission member Adnan al-Assadi said the attacks were “a blatant offense against Iraq and its people”.
He added that any Iraqi interested in preserving the sovereignty of the nation should condemn the American attack and urge the expulsion of US forces from the country.
Iraqi lawmaker Naim al-Aboudi of the Fatah (Conquest) alliance also tweeted that the US will not be “able to remain on this soil much long” despite attacks targeting Iraqi people and the country’s infrastructure.
Iraq’s Nujaba resistance movement, meanwhile, issued a statement condemning the US violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.
It warned that the provocations may push Iraq into a “new phase” of armed and popular resistance against US forces.