News ID: 266870
Published: 0409 GMT March 13, 2020

Iran: Trump must reassess US forces’ behavior in region

Iran: Trump must reassess US forces’ behavior in region

Iran said US President Donald Trump must reconsider behavior of occupying American forces in the region instead of leveling groundless accusations against other countries.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi on Friday rejected the “baseless” accusations leveled by the US president against Iran regarding the recent attack on a US-occupied base in Iraq.

“Instead of making dangerous moves and baseless accusations, Mr. Trump had better thoroughly reassess the presence and behavior of his forces in the region,” Mousavi said, according to Press TV.

He also urged the US to seriously avoid spreading the virus of pinning the blame on others and making accusations with the aim of justifying its illogical behavior and evading responsibility.

The spokesman suggested that such attacks on US interests in Iraq are the consequences of its illegal presence in the Arab country, stressing that Washington cannot blame others for the Iraqi people’s reaction to the US assassination and slaughter of their commanders and fighters.

A rocket attack on Wednesday hit a military base housing American troops near the capital Baghdad. The attack against Taji military camp killed three members of the US-led coalition – two Americans and one Briton.

Later, the US carried out airstrikes authorized by President Donald Trump.



Iraq condemns US strikes


The Iraqi military and the presidency also on Friday condemned new US airstrikes, saying they killed soldiers, police officers and civilians overnight.

“The Iraqi presidency condemns airstrikes on several bases in Iraq, including a recently opened airport in the holy city of Karbala which led to the death of security forces and civilians,” the presidency said in a statement.

The Iraqi military also denounced the US strikes as a targeted aggression against the nation's official armed forces and a violation of its sovereignty.

According to the Iraqi military statement, three soldiers, two police officers and one civilian were killed in the attacks.

The statement said four soldiers, two police officers, one civilian, and five individuals affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) were also wounded.

The Pentagon had said earlier on Friday that the strikes targeted five weapons stores used by Iraqi groups that “targeted US forces.”

Iraqi resistance groups denied such accusations even though they supported fighting occupying US forces.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, Trump on Thursday claimed that the attackers were a group that “most likely looked like it could be backed by Iran.”

He later authorized the US military to respond to the rocket attack by launching a string of airstrikes against multiple locations of the PMU, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, as well as the Iraqi Army and police.


Shamkhani remarks


Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani on Friday suggested that there might be links between the US assassination of top Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq and its claims about the rocket attack on Taji base.

"In my visit to Iraq, I called on the country's officials to find the domestic traces of the operation to assassinate Martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and disclose their names," he tweeted.

"It seems there are commonalities between the assassination plot and the US claim about the attack on Taji base," Shamkhani noted.

Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Hashd al-Sha’abi and Lieutenant General Soleimani were assassinated along with a number of their comrades in a US drone attack outside the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Following the attack, Iraqi resistance groups vowed to retaliate the assassination of their top commander.



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