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US claims staging airstrikes against Iraqi resistance groups along Syria border

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby

The United States claims it has conducted airstrikes against three targets allegedly belonging to Iraqi resistance groups along Iraq and Syria’s common border.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced the attacks in a statement on Sunday, saying the “precision airstrikes” had hit two locations in Syria and another in Iraq near the border.

He said the attacks had taken place "at President Biden's direction,” alleging that they hit “facilities” used by “multiple” groups.

The spokesman specified two of the groups as “Kata'ib Hezbollah and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.”

The targets had been selected because the alleged facilities were used by groups “that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq,” he said.

Syria’s al-Ikhbariyah news channel, meanwhile, reported that aerial offensive had targeted the town of al-Bukamal in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr. The channel said “massive explosions” had shaken the areas that lie along the common border.

‘Child among civilian casualties’

A reporter with the official Syrian Arab News Agency said American warplanes had targeted houses in Bukamal’s outskirts in early Monday.

The correspondent said the attacks had killed one child and wounded three other civilians.

The US-led military coalition that has been allegedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the Arab countries since 2014 has staged many attacks against the Iraqi groups in the past.

This is while the groups are part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror umbrella organization that is an official part of the country’s armed forces.

Iraqi and Syria experts consider the attacks to be an attempt by the US to entrench and prolong its military presence in the countries by targeting the groups that fight directly against Daesh, Washington’s apparent excuse for the military interference.

The US’s presence in both the countries is illegal.

In the case of Iraq, the country’s parliament passed a law early last year, mandating cancellation of Baghdad’s permit for the US-led forces’ presence.

The law secured the approval of the legislative body’s overwhelming majority. It came in response to an earlier US drone attack that had martyred senior Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror officials, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

In the case of Syria, the US administration never bothered to secure Damascus’ permission in the first place.

The Iraqi groups have vowed to pursue expulsion of the foreign forces. They have also pledged to contribute to the regional resistance fight against the occupying Israeli regime, Washington’s most treasured ally.


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