One dead, 18 injured in retaliatory strikes

Iraq’s government condemns U.S. airstrikes targeting armed groups in Babil

BAGHDAD, December 26 — Iraq’s government condemned United States airstrikes on three facilities housing armed groups in Babil, resulting in one death and 18 injuries. The government affirmed the strikes would complicate ongoing talks aimed at ending the International Coalition’s presence inside the country.

A statement from Al-Sudani’s office read:

The Iraqi government affirms that it deals firmly, through its security forces in all their forms and constitutional institutions, and all its legal authorities, with any elements attacking the premises of foreign diplomatic missions or places where military advisers from friendly countries are present. These attacks have been previously identified as hostile acts infringing upon the sovereignty of the Iraqi state, and it is unacceptable for them to occur under any circumstances, pretext, or justification.

At the same time, the Iraqi government condemns what happened on the morning of Tuesday, December 26, 2023, regarding the targeting of Iraqi military sites by the U.S. side under the pretext of retaliation. This act resulted in the martyrdom of one member and the injury of 18 others, including civilians. It is a clear, hostile, and unconstructive act that contradicts the declared desire of the U.S. side to strengthen relations with Iraq.

We emphasize that this step harms bilateral relations between the two countries and complicates the prospects for reaching agreements through mutual dialogue to end the presence of the international coalition. Above all, it represents an unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Our security forces have succeeded in establishing security and stability throughout our country, achieving victory over the terrorist gangs of ISIS, which no longer pose a threat to Iraqi national security. Therefore, preserving the fruits of this victory is among our top security and strategic priorities, and we will not allow any party to undermine what has been achieved and solidified through thousands of valuable sacrifices.