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Iran tells US to stop pointing fingers & accept 'consequences of its illegal presence in Iraq'

Iran tells US to stop pointing fingers & accept 'consequences of its illegal presence in Iraq'
Tehran has called on Washington to rethink its response to an attack on an Iraqi base that killed two American troops, arguing that the US should take responsibility for its military occupation, instead of blaming Iran.

"The US cannot place the consequences of its illegal presence in Iraq and the reaction of Iraqi people to the assassination and killing of their commanders on others," Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said on Friday, as quoted by state media.

The Foreign Ministry official suggested that instead of engaging in "risky actions and baseless accusations," US President Donald Trump should "thoroughly review the presence and behavior of his troops in the region." He urged Washington to take responsibility for its foreign policy decision, and "avoid projection and accusations to justify irrational behavior."

The comments come shortly after the Pentagon claimed that it bombed five Kataib Hezbollah targets in Iraq in retaliation for a deadly attack on Camp Taji near Baghdad. A total of 18 rockets struck the base on Wednesday, killing two US troops and one member of the UK Royal Army Medical Corps.

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The Pentagon had earlier blamed "Iran-backed" Iraqi Shia militias for the rocket barrage.

The Iraqi military said that the US attacks, allegedly targeting Iran-backed fighters, had killed three Iraqi soldiers, two policemen and a civilian. A construction worker was also reportedly killed after the US military attacked Kerbala international airport, according to officials. The airport’s management insisted that the air hub was for civilian purposes only, and condemned the US strike as an “unjustified and blatant assault.”

According to reports, US troops came close to a complete withdrawal from Camp Taji, after an American drone strike assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and at Baghdad International Airport. His killing sparked mass protests across Iraq, with the Iraqi parliament even adopting a non-binding resolution calling for the immediate pull-out of all foreign troops from the country.

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