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Abdul Mahdi Concerned By Unlicensed Flights Amid Fears From US Attack

Abdul Mahdi Concerned By Unlicensed Flights Amid Fears From US Attack

Tuesday, 31 March, 2020 - 06:00
Iraqi policemen stand behind barbed wire during ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad's Tahrir Square (AFP)
Baghdad- Hamza Mustafa

The menace of a US anticipated attack against Iranian-backed armed factions in Iraq has reined on the political movement while Washington continues to withdraw its forces from several military bases across the country.

After last week's rocket attack on Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, strikes have stopped with some observers disclosing a possible US attack against armed factions close to Tehran.

Reports in Baghdad said that the attacks would probably target the leaders of those groups.

On Monday, resigned Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi came to confirm those reports with his statement saying: "The illegal and irresponsible actions undertaken by some in targeting Iraqi military bases or foreign missions are targeting the Iraqi sovereignty and transgressing the Iraqi government and people."

He condemned such actions and called for taking all possible measures to pursue the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

He added that Baghdad was closely following with the information monitored by the Iraqi forces regarding the presence of “unauthorized flights” near military areas in Speicher, the martyrs' camp in Duz, Halewa airport, Ashraf camp, Mansuriya, etc.

The US-led coalition is required to get approval from the Iraqi government to fly any surveillance drones and planes, but those permissions expired in early January and have yet to be renewed.

“We warn against the consequences of conducting condemned and unauthorized countermeasures, and we consider this a security threat to citizens and a violation of the sovereignty and interests of the country,” Abudl Mahdi said.

The former PM also warned against attempting to make any assault without the approval of the Iraqi government.

"All efforts must be directed to fighting ISIS, establishing security and order, supporting the state and the government, and confronting the epidemic that threatens us and all humanity, and we call for an end to violations and unilateral actions, and respect the Iraqi laws and sovereignty,” he said.

Meanwhile, Director of the Center of the Republic for Strategic Studies Moataz Mohiuddin told Asharq Al-Awsat that following the redeployment of US forces and their movement to safe areas and after the arrival of American military's elite Delta Force to protect the US embassy in the Green Zone, Washington began implementing the internationally-recognized Magnitsky Act for human rights and which allows the US to place other governments and individuals on notice if they engage in serious human rights abuses or corruption.

He said Washington would use this law to target Iraqi officials who were involved in crushing peaceful demonstrations in the country.

“The US took a semi-official acceptance from the Security Council to act in Iraq,” Mohiuddin said, adding that the Act would also target some corrupt officials, including bank owners.

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