US forces carried out airstrikes against five facilities belonging to Iraqi Shia militia group Kata’ib Hezbollah on Sunday, killing over two dozen people and injuring over 50 more following Friday’s deadly rocket attack on a US military base in northern Iraq.
Iraqi President Barham Salih has condemned the US airstrikes on Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah militia movement, describing the strikes as “unacceptable,” the Iraqi News Agency has reported.
“This contradicts our agreements. It is harmful to Iraq and is unacceptable,” Salih was quoted as saying. The president was also said to have characterised the attacks as being inconsistent with the security agreements between the two countries.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi also expressed his disapproval of the strikes, with an Iraqi military spokesman saying that the prime minister told Pentagon Chief Mark Esper that Iraq rejects any unilateral military action that has not been approved by the Iraqi government.
“We have previously confirmed our rejection of any unilateral action by the coalition forces or any other forces inside Iraq, and we consider it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a dangerous escalation that threatens the security of Iraq and the region,” the spokesman said, quoting the prime minister’s remarks.
Sunday’s airstrikes, thought to have killed 25 militia members and left 51 others injured across three locations in Iraq and two more facilities in Syria, were described by the Pentagon as a response to Iraqi militias’ alleged attack on a US base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday. In that attack, one US civilian contractor was killed, and several US service members received injuries. No group claimed responsibility for the Kirkuk attack.