Eight members of the Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces were killed and four others were wounded on Wednesday by U.S. airstrikes near the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
A statement by the Hashd Shaabi said that at 2:30 a.m. (2330 GMT on Tuesday), the U.S. aircraft attacked positions of the Hashd Shaabi forces in the Jurf al-Nasr area, south of Baghdad, leaving eight of its fighters killed and wounding four others.
“We affirm our strong condemnation of this hostile act, which represents a blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the U.S. aircraft conducted precision strikes in Iraq in direct response to the attacks against U.S. and coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups.
A statement by the media office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani said the U.S. airstrikes constitute a clear violation of the coalition’s mission which is to fight the Islamic State militants on Iraqi soil.
The latest U.S. airstrikes came after the Iraqi armed group “Islamic Resistance in Iraq,” an umbrella body for Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, claimed responsibility for carrying out a series of rocket and drone attacks on military bases housing U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.
The attacks by the armed group are believed to be part of a series of retaliatory measures amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.