Iraq slams US after strike kills pro-Iran commander
Iraq yesterday condemned a US air strike that killed a senior commander from a pro-Iran armed group accused of having been involved in attacks on American troops in the region.
The US attack on Wednesday came after a wave of strikes on Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria last week following the killing of three American troops in neighbouring Jordan on January 28.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said the commander killed Wednesday was targeted "in response to the attacks on US service members".
The strike killed "a Kataeb Hezbollah commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on US forces in the region," according to CENTCOM.
"The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect our people. We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces' safety," it added.
Iraqi authorities slammed the strike as a "blatant assassination" in a residential neighbourhood of Baghdad.
"The international coalition is completely overstepping the reasons and objectives for which it is present on our territory," said Yehia Rasool, the military spokesman for Iraq's prime minister.
"This path pushes the Iraqi government more than ever before to end the coalition's mission which has become a factor of instability for Iraq," he added.
He was referring to the US-led international military alliance formed in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group -- the year the jihadist group overran nearly a third of Iraq's territory.