Iraq says that 16 people, including civilians, were killed in the “new American aggression” | News of the Israeli war on Gaza

The Iraqi government announced that at least 16 people were killed in American raids in Iraq, and condemned the “new aggression” against its sovereignty.

A government spokesman said on Saturday that civilians were among the dead, and 25 people were injured in the bombings that targeted civilian and security areas.

The United States warned of further retaliatory strikes after it struck Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria overnight in response to an attack that killed American soldiers in Jordan amid… Israel’s war on Gaza.

The Iraqi government said, “This aggressive strike will put security in Iraq and the region on the brink of the abyss,” and denied Washington’s allegations of coordinating air strikes with Baghdad, describing them as “false” and “aimed at misleading international public opinion.”

Syria accused Washington of supporting “terrorism.”

The strikes did not take place inside Iranian territory.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the goal of the “multiple” attacks that Washington said it would carry out is to stop attacks by groups allied with Iran, not to start a war with Iran.

President Joe Biden said the strikes “will continue at times and places of our choosing” as his top diplomat Antony Blinken prepares to begin his fifth regional tour since October 7 starting Sunday, visiting Israel, the occupied West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. And Qatar.

This was announced by the US Central Command (CENTCOM). Bombers flew from the United States More than 125 precision munitions were used to strike more than 85 targets, including command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, weapons storage, and supply chain facilities of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Tehran-backed armed groups.

Syrian official media reported several casualties after the strikes in the country’s desert region and the border areas with Iraq.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense condemned the “aggression of the American occupation forces,” which it said “has no justification other than an attempt to weaken the ability of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the field of combating terrorism.” The targeted areas are the same areas where the army is fighting the remnants of the ISIS armed group.

Iraqi security sources told Al Jazeera that six air strikes targeted a number of sites in the country.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 18 Iranian-allied fighters were killed in the Syrian attacks, but this could not be independently verified.

Videos circulating online allegedly show missile storage sites of armed groups allied with Tehran being bombed in Iraq.

It is not believed that any Iranians were killed

Although Washington said all of its intended targets were supported by the leadership of the IRGC’s Quds Force, no Iranian personnel are believed to have been killed.

It took the United States nearly a week to respond after three of its soldiers were killed in a drone attack on the Burj 22 base near the Syrian-Jordanian border. He continued to leak information to the media Before the night strikes.

The coalition of forces known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which considers American forces “occupation forces,” claimed responsibility for the attack on the American base, and demanded an end to the deadly war waged by Israel on Gaza.

While Iraq was still assessing the damage from the airstrikes, it said they “undermine the efforts of the Iraqi government, and pose a threat that could lead Iraq and the region to serious consequences,” even as the White House claimed to have informed the Iraqi government. The government before the attacks

Iraqi army spokesman Yahya Rasoul added, “The results will have serious repercussions on security and stability in Iraq and the surrounding region.”

Iran, which Washington suspects of supplying it with weapons American soldiers hit Tower 22 But it is not an attack, as it has confirmed that members of the “resistance axis” that it supports throughout the region are acting independently.

Mahmoud Abdel Wahed of Al Jazeera in Baghdad said on Saturday that the Iraqi resistance, which includes groups allied with Iran, carried out missile attacks targeting the Al-Tanf military base in Syria, which houses American personnel, as well as the city of Ain, the Al-Assad base in western Iraq.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which announced the suspension of hostilities against American forces this week, said that it “attacked on Saturday the Harir base of the American occupation in Erbil” in northern Iraq with an unspecified number of drones.

She said in a statement that the attack comes within the framework of resistance to the “American occupation forces” in Iraq and throughout the region, and to confront the Israeli war on Gaza.

Biden and an American soldier in uniform exchange military salutes
President Biden greets a member of the US military upon his arrival from Dover, Delaware on February 2, 2024. He met with the families of the three soldiers who were killed as their remains were being repatriated to the United States. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Gaza is a “key” to stopping the escalation

The Biden administration’s actions sparked dissatisfied reactions from US politicians who demanded stronger and faster attacks, including direct strikes on Iranian territory, despite fears that such a move would lead to all-out war.

Mike Johnson, Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives, accused the president of “appeasing” Tehran after the strikes, and said: “To promote peace, America must show strength.”

But the same American politicians refuse to mention the Gaza war, which claimed the lives of more than 27,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, as a main link in the conflict. A series of more than 150 attacks Which have been directed to American bases in Iraq and Syria since last October.

“I’m not surprised that this retaliation and retaliation by the United States is happening,” H.A. Hellyer, a military analyst at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, told Al Jazeera, adding that if the United States wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons, it would escalate and not go to war with… Iran The key to this is Gaza.

Washington has failed to use any real leverage to reach a ceasefire in Gaza, which I believe would actually ease tensions in the region and remove fuel for the kind of escalation that is underway, which is likely to continue over the coming days. “And weeks and beyond,” he added.

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