Iraq says US airstrike on its soil breached international law, stripes.com

Iraq condemned a U.S. airstrike against Iranian-linked militias on its soil Monday, describing the overnight attack as a “blatant” violation of national sovereignty that breached international conventions.

The unusually harsh condemnation from a military ally came after the Pentagon said Sunday that it had launched airstrikes on facilities on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border in response to recent drone attacks on U.S. troops.

Two militia locations in Syria were attacked, along with one in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement, which described the strikes as defensive. He said the locations were used by the Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada groups, which are both linked to Iran.

In a statement Monday, the Iraqi military rejected the idea that Iraq should be an “arena for settling scores,” describing the attack as a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty” as well as a breach of international conventions. […]

Sunday’s strikes came in response to increasingly brazen and sophisticated attacks by Iranian-backed militias on U.S.-linked forces — attacks that in recent years have relied more on rockets than drones. Officials in Washington say these are probably linked to Kataib Hezbollah, a group that U.S. forces have bombed on several occasions in Iraq. […]

A similar attack on an Iraqi air base in May raised worries that further attacks may trigger a cycle of retaliation among U.S. forces and Iranian-backed forces that operate in the region. The U.S. assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis prompted Iranian ballistic missile attacks on U.S. troops in the west of the country, which led to scores of injuries but no deaths. Läs artikel