Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi has strongly condemned as a “flagrant violation” of the Iraqi sovereignty an overnight airstrike by US warplanes against the positions of the anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, in which several resistance fighters were killed.
“We condemn the US air attack that targeted a site last night on the Iraqi-Syrian border, which represents a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security,” said a statement from Kadhemi’s office on Monday.
The statement added that the government will "study all legal options" to prevent such action being repeated.
The statement came after the Iraqi cabinet, headed by al-Kadhemi, held an emergency security meeting following the U.S. airstrikes.
In the early hours of the day, US warplanes attacked three positions purportedly belonging to the PMU along the border.
Later, the 14th Brigade of the PMU announced that four of its fighters had been killed when the warplanes hit its headquarters. The brigade is made up of the Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada anti-terror resistance group.
The PMU in general is an Iraqi government-sponsored umbrella organization composed of about 40 factions of volunteer counter-terrorism forces, including mostly Shia Muslims besides Sunni Muslims, Christians, and Kurds. The organization had a significant role in defeating the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq.
The US just illegally bombed #Iraq & #Syria…again. Please stop saying you’re keeping our troops safe, if you want them safe, bring them home. Stop illegally occupying & bombing other countries & call it self-defense. pic.twitter.com/XgkCs2mVKu— Assal Rad (@AssalRad) June 28, 2021
Iraqi military condemns U.S. airstrikes on PMU's positions
Separately, Iraq's military spokesman Yehya Rasool denounced the US airstrike and said it was a “breach of sovereignty.”
“We condemn the US air attack that targeted a site on the Iraqi-Syrian border last night, which represents a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and national security in accordance with all international conventions.”
Rasool further called on all involved parties to exercise restraint and avoid any escalation of tensions.
He said Baghdad would work thoroughly to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Foreign Ministry: US attack on PMU violation of Iraq’s sovereignty
Additionally on Monday, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, condemning the deadly strike. It was an “assault and a violation of national sovereignty and a clear departure from international norms and conventions,” the statement read.
“We affirm our adherence to Iraq's sovereignty and unity and to rely on everything that would enhance that, through sustained coordination and communication with various parties and through diplomatic initiatives and endeavors that ensure the non-repetition of such rejected and condemned hostilities.”
Syria: US attacks prove its presence meant to serve Israel's goals
Syria, for its part, also condemned in strongest terms the US flagrant aggression in the Syrian-Iraqi border region, describing it as a blatant violation of the sanctity of the Syrian and Iraqi territories.
An official source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA that the US aggression, which was ordered by the highest ranks in the US leadership, proves once again “the recklessness of US policies and the need for Washington to withdraw its aggressor forces” from the region.
The Syrian foreign ministry source added that such acts of aggression only escalate the tense situation in the region and prove “what we have repeatedly said in Syria that the US military presence in our region is basically meant to serve the Israeli goals and the separatist forces contrary to the interests of its own people.”
The Syrian source concluded by saying that Damascus, once again, demands the US administration respect the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq and to immediately stop those attacks on the independence of the two countries.
Al-Nujaba Movement: US will pay for its folly
In a relevant development on Monday, a senior member of Iraq’s al-Nujaba Movement, which is part of the PMU, said in a Twitter post that Washington would pay for its folly in attacking Iraq’s popular forces.
Ali al-Asadi said the Monday US airstrike was a desperate reaction to the latest manifestation of power by the PMU through a huge military parade, which was held to mark the anniversary of the PMU’s formation.
“This [attack] is another reason, which proves that the occupier does not care about stability of this country.... We tell the occupier: you will pay for your despicable measure and will suffer the consequences of your folly,” Asadi said.
Hezbollah: US airstrikes on PMU aimed to weaken anti-terror fight
Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement also reacted to the latest airstrikes by the occupying American forces on the PMU positions in western Iraq and Syria, strongly condemning the US act of aggression.
In a statement on Monday, Hezbollah said the air raid by American warplanes was blatant violation of sovereignty of both Iraq and Syria, which is aimed at weakening these countries’ power to fight terrorism on their soils.
Hezbollah then expressed support for the official condemnation of the US airstrike by Iraqi government and armed forces as well as various popular groups.
Yemen’s Ansarullah: US strikes aimed at supporting Daesh, al-Qaeda
In another development on Monday, the political office of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement issued a statement on the latest US airstrikes on Iraq’s PMU, expressing the movements condolences for the families of the PMU fighters killed in the US strikes.
“The US aggression is in line with its policy to provide aerial support for its criminal proxies, that is, the Daesh [Takfiri terrorist group] and al-Qaeda” in Syria and Iraq.
The Yemeni movement added that it strongly supported the powerful positions taken by Iraq’s officials and popular forces in opposition to the projects planned and carried out by the Great Satan, the United States, and Israel.
Yemen’s Ansarullah movement noted that the US act of aggression will only strengthen the determination of the Iraqi people and proves that the path chosen by the Iraqi nation is correct and should continue until complete expulsion of all occupying forces from the country.
US congresswoman: This failed policy will not make us any safer
Meanwhile, Ilhan Omar, a US congresswoman who represents Minnesota's 5th congressional district, took to Twitter on Monday, condemning US act of aggression against Iraqi popular forces.
“This constant cycle of violence and retribution is a failed policy and will not make any of us safer,” she said.
Omar added that the US government cannot take any hostile action in other countries without the Congress’ approval, saying, “Congress has authority over War Powers and should be consulted before any escalation.”
This constant cycle of violence and retribution is a failed policy and will not make any of us safer.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 28, 2021
Congress has authority over War Powers and should be consulted before any escalation. https://t.co/YQYmrvhRcl
Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of Iraq's PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
Just two days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.
Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.