Web Stories Friday, February 23

“RECKLESS”

The United States condemned the Iranian strikes as “reckless”.

“We oppose Iran’s reckless missile strikes, which undermine Iraq’s stability,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

A White House spokesperson said no US personnel or facilities were hit in the Iranian strikes.

Iraq has seen an surge of unrest since Hamas militants launched an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on Oct 7, prompting devastating Israeli retaliation carried out with US support.

Iran-backed militant groups in Iraq and Syria have carried out a spate of attacks on military bases in the two countries used by soldiers of a US-led coalition against IS.

Washington has responded with missile strikes targeting the Iran-backed groups that have also drawn condemnation from Baghdad as a a breach of its soverignty.

In November 2022, Iran launched missile strikes against the northern Iraq bases of Iranian-Kurdish rebel groups it accused of fomenting a wave of protests that swept the country after the death in custody of Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini.

In March 2022, the Guards carried out missile attacks in Erbil that it said targeted a “strategic centre” operated by arch foe Israel.

Contacts with Israel are outlawed in Iraq but some politicians and businessmen in Erbil have in the past been accused of maintaining informal ties. The Iraqi Kurdish authorities deny any contacts.

In Syria, the Guards said they struck gathering places for “commanders and main elements related to recent terrorist operations, particularly the Islamic State group”.

“At least four missiles” were fired from the Mediterranean triggering explosions in second city Aleppo and its outskirts, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

The Guards said the strike was in response to recent attacks in Iran.

On Jan 3, IS suicide bombers struck crowds gathered near the tomb of Guards general Qasem Soleimani in Kerman, killing around 90 people.

In December, an attack claimed by militant group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) killed at least 11 police officers in Iran’s southeast.

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