Tehran says US attacks on Iran-backed militia destabilize regional security

TEHRAN, Iran (AA) – Iran on Monday condemned US airstrikes on Iranian-backed armed militias in the Iraqi-Syrian border region, saying the attacks destabilize regional security.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said the current US administration of Joe Biden “was following the approach of former Donald Trump administration.”

"Certainly what the United States is doing is disrupting security in the region, and one of the victims of this disruption will be the United States," Khatibzadeh told a press conference in Tehran. “The US should correct its path and stop creating crises and troubles for the peoples of the region.”

Four members of the Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, a faction of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia, were killed in US airstrikes in the Iraqi-Syrian border region on Sunday.

The US attacks drew fire from the Iraqi government, which decried it as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

"We condemn and reject the US attacks on the Iraq-Syria border last night. This is a blatant, unacceptable violation of Iraq's sovereignty and national security under all international agreements,” Yahya Rasul, the military spokesperson of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, said in a statement.

Earlier on Monday, the US announced in a statement by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby that it launched targeted airstrikes "against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region."

Kirby said: "As demonstrated by this evening's strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks."

Military sites housing US forces as well as the US Embassy in Baghdad have recently come under rocket attacks, which Washington blames for Shia armed factions linked to Iran.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara