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Iraq PM Says Informed in Advance of Iran Strike, Rejects Violation of Sovereignty

Iraq PM Says Informed in Advance of Iran Strike, Rejects Violation of Sovereignty

Wednesday, 8 January, 2020 - 11:00
Caretaker Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi. (Reuters)

The Iraqi prime ministry said on Wednesday that Iran had notified Baghdad shortly after midnight that its response to the killing of its top military commander had begun, and that retaliation would be limited to locations where the US military is present.

Adel Abdul Mahdi’s office said in a statement that Iraq was simultaneously informed by the Americans that military bases in Ain al-Asad and Erbil were under missile attack.

The office said it has received no reports of casualties on the Iraqi side and has not been officially notified of any losses among the US-led coalition.

“Iraq refuses any violation of its sovereignty and any attacks on its territory,” the statement said.

It added that Iraq is doing everything in its power to contain the situation to avoid a “devastating all-out war."

The PM said he was following situation closely and making necessary calls to contain the crisis.

He called on all sides to practice self restraint, adhere to international agreements and respect the Iraqi state.

Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing US troops in Iraq on Wednesday in retaliation for the US killing Qassem Soleimani, raising the stakes in its conflict with Washington amid concern of a wider war in the Middle East.

Tehran's move drew sharp condemnation from the international community and calls for de-escalation and respecting Iraq's sovereignty.

Tehran's foreign minister said Iran took "proportionate measures" in self-defense and did not seek to escalate the confrontation.

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