Iraq condemns airstrikes on Hashd Shaabi forces near border with Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-19 17:12:32|Editor: ZX
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BAGHDAD, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Foreign Ministry Tuesday condemned the airstrikes that targeted the Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces fighting the extremist Islamic State (IS) militants near the border with Syria.

"The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemns the airstrikes on the forces that are fighting Daesh (IS group), whether in Iraq, Syria or anywhere else as this enemy (IS) threatens humanity," the ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said in a statement.

Mahjoub said that targeting the Hashd Shaabi fighters, or any force fighting IS militants "only benefits the extremist IS militants to reorganize and to extend their presence in the area after it (IS group) has been defeated by the Iraqi forces."

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry urges all the world states "to unite and stand together in the face of such extremist groups," as the ministry believes it is necessary for the anti-IS international coalition to coordinate with the forces fighting the terrorist IS group and support them, according to the statement.

On Monday, the Iraqi Hashd Shaabi forces said that 22 of its members were killed and 12 others wounded in suspected U.S.-led airstrikes on its base inside Syria near its eastern city of al-Bukamal.

The forces said the U.S.-led coalition aircraft fired two guided missiles at 10 p.m. local time Sunday night (2000 GMT) targeting a headquarters of the Hashd Shaabi's 45 and 46 brigades, which are tasked with protecting the Iraqi border with Syria from infiltration of IS militants.

However, a U.S. military spokesman denied that the U.S.-led coalition aircraft conducted any strike in the area, saying "we're looking into who that could possibly be but it wasn't the U.S. or the coalition."

On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.