Iraq’s military spokesman on Monday condemned US airstrikes against militia targets on the border with Syria as a “breach of sovereignty” in a rare criticism of US military action.
Yehia Rasool, who published the remarks on his Twitter account, was referring to airstrikes that killed at least four Iran-aligned Shi’ite Muslim paramilitary fighters.
The US military, which leads an international coalition in Iraq, works closely with the Iraqi military in fighting remnants of ISIS.
The US said on Sunday it carried out another round of air strikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, this time in response to drone attacks by the militia against US personnel and facilities in Iraq.
In a statement, the US military said it targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq. It did not disclose whether it believed anyone was killed or injured but officials said assessments were ongoing.
Iraqi militia groups aligned with Iran in a statement named four members of the Kataib Sayyed al-Shuhada faction they said were killed in the attack on the Syria-Iraq border. They vowed to retaliate.
The strikes came at the direction of President Joe Biden, the second time he has ordered retaliatory strikes against Iran-backed militia since taking office five months ago. Biden last ordered limited strikes in Syria in February, that time in response to rocket attacks in Iraq.
“As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel,” the Pentagon said in a statement.