Iraq to reconsider working with US-led coalition after air strikes

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Iraq said on Monday that United States military air strikes targeting Iraqi paramilitary groups will force it to reconsider its relationship and work with the US-led international anti-ISIS coalition stationed there.

Iraq’s National Security Council said in a statement the US air strikes were a violation of sovereignty and that US forces acted based on their own political priorities and conclusions.

Protecting Iraq, its military bases, and all troops stationed there is exclusively the responsibility of Iraqi security forces, the council said.

Iraq’s foreign ministry said it would summon the US ambassador in Baghdad to voice Baghdad’s disapproval.

Earlier on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi ocondemned the US air strikes on Iranian-backed Iraqi militia bases.

“The prime minister described the American attack on the Iraqi armed forces as an unacceptable vicious assault that will have dangerous consequences,” his office said.

The strikes come at a time of protests in Iraq with thousands taking to the streets to condemn, among other things, militias such as Kataib Hezbollah and their Iranian backers.

They also demand an overhaul of a political system they see as corrupt and keeping most Iraqis in poverty.

About 400 people in Basra protested against the strikes, demonstrating in support of the militias.

Meanwhile, Iraqi security sources said US forces in northern Iraq were ramping up security.

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