Iraq has warned both the United States and Iran to respect its sovereignty, according to a statement from an Iraqi army official, as Baghdad marks the one-year anniversary of the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia commander.
“We do not want Iraq to be a starting point for striking neighboring countries. America and Iran must respect the sovereignty of Iraq,” the Iraqi News Agency quoted the spokesman for Iraq’s Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces as saying.
“The capabilities of the Iraqi army are very good, but it needs to strengthen the air defense capabilities. We are communicating with Syria to secure the borders. The sovereignty of Iraq is a red line for the armed forces. Any strike between America and Iran will be disastrous,” the statement from the spokesperson added.
The statement from the Iraqi army comes as tens of thousands of supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups chanted anti-American slogans in central Baghdad on Sunday to mark the one year since Soleimani was killed along with Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes on Jan. 3, 2020, in a US drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.