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Iraqi bloc calls for withdrawal of US troops after Israeli air strikes | Israeli news



A powerful bloc in the Iraqi Parliament has called for the withdrawal of US troops from the country following a series of airstrikes targeting Iran-backed Shiite militias in the country, which have been blamed on Israel.

The Fatah Coalition on Monday said it held the United States entirely responsible for the alleged Israeli aggression, "which we consider a declaration of war on Iraq and its people."

The coalition is a bloc of parliament representing the Iranian-backed militias known as the People's Mobilization Force.

The coalition's statement came a day after a drone attack in the western Iraqi city of Qa'im killed a commander with forces ̵

1; the latest in attacks apparently carried out by Israel against Iran-backed militias in Iraq. It added that US troops are no longer needed in Iraq.

Israel is also launching a similar attack on Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, which Beirut calls a "declaration of war."

Movement supported by Iran. said late Monday that drones carry explosives.

Meanwhile, a Shiite militia group held a funeral procession in Baghdad for the killed commander on Sunday.

"There is no greater God but God!" mourners shouted as they marched behind the banner of the words "Death to America" ​​and "Death to Israel." Some are stamping on the American flag as they march.

The Pentagon issued a statement Monday denying responsibility for the latest attacks and promising to cooperate with investigations in Iraq.

"We support the sovereignty of Iraq and have repeatedly spoken out against any potential actions by outside actors inciting violence in Iraq," says Pentagon spokesman Jonathan R. Hoffman.

"The Iraqi government has the right to control its own internal security and protect their democracy. "

Anger rises in Iraq after a spate of mysterious airstrikes targeting military bases and weapons depots suspected of belonging to Iran-backed militias.

The drone attacks were not claimed by

Shiite militias blame the attacks on Israel, but hold their ally the US ultimately responsible.

"The strikes will not violate us"

] The attacks are threatening g to destabilize security in Iraq, which is struggling to remain neutral in the Washington-Tehran conflict.

  air strikes - Iraq

Relatives of slain Iraqi commander mourn during funeral in Baghdad on Monday [Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters]

Another member of the Shiite militia was killed by a drone attack Sunday evening near the border checkpoint, along with the commander. We speak with Syria.

The attack was directed against vehicles belonging to the faction of Hezbollah Brigades, also known as Brigade 45, operating under the umbrella of state-sanctioned Shiite militias.

US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the government to assist in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Armed Forces (ISIL, also known as ISIS) after they seized huge areas in the north and west of the country, including the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul.

The US-led coalition provided decisive air support after Iraqi forces regrouped and, along with the PMF, expelled ISIL in a costly three-year campaign.

The US maintains about 5,000 troops in Iraq, with some groups saying that there is no longer any excuse to be there now that ISIL has been defeated.

"While we reserve the right to respond to these Zionist attacks, we hold the international coalition, in particular the United States, fully responsible for this aggression, which we consider to be a war on Iraq and its people," the statement said. the Fatah Coalition.

Iraqi President Barham Salih hosted a meeting Monday that included the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, as well as PMF militia leaders to discuss the latest attacks.

A statement issued after the meeting avoids blaming drone attacks on any particular country, but describes it as a "gross act of aggression by Zion" aimed at distracting the PMF from its current role in eradicating debris from ISIL

The leaders of two of the most powerful factions strongly associated with Iran were absent from the meeting, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qais al-Hazali, an official who attended the meeting said they were in Iran.

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