Iraqi PM Goes To NATO HQ To Angrily Denounce Biden’s Airstrikes
A high level Iraqi delegation led by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as well as Iraq’s defense and foreign ministers, made a somewhat unusual visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday to discuss the Western military alliance’s continued president inside Iraq.
Prime Minister al-Kadhimi personally conveyed his anger over the violation of Iraq’s sovereignty for Sunday night’s US airstrikes along the Syrian border, which killed several Iraqi militia members in what Washington dubbed actions against “Iran-backed” groups which had been targeting US troops by drone strikes. “He urged the coalition not to use Iraq to take on neighboring Syria and Iran,” according to Newsweek.
Further he stressed the “importance of Iraq not being an arena for settling conflicts, or a springboard for aggression against any of its neighbors,” in reference to the Pentagon’s tit-for-tat running conflict with Iraqi pro-Iranian militias – a conflict which grew especially tense following the January 2020 assassination of the IRGC’s Qassem Soleimani and Iraq Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (founder of Kataib Hezbollah).
The US had dubbed the series of Sunday night strikes a “message” to Iran while Biden had personally defended the military action – the second such of his presidency – as within his right to authorize under Article 2 of the Constitution, despite a number of Congressional leaders pushing back on this claim. The Iraqis themselves also no doubt see Biden’s supposed “right” to attack anywhere he pleases very differently.
Baghdad had issued its first comprehensive and official rebuke of the strikes on Monday following an emergency session of Iraq’s National Security Council, which called the US strikes “a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty, which is rejected by all international laws and covenants.”
While at NATO headquarters this week, the Iraqi PM’s delegation further discussed the withdrawal of remaining US forces – of which there are now said to be some 2,500 troops.
But as US forces slowly continue to exit, NATO is currently said to be boosting its troop presence to provide security cover also amid exit logistics – from 500 to about 5,000.
Fri, 07/02/2021 – 02:45