By Tim Korso

US forces earlier carried out airstrikes against an Iraqi Shia paramilitary group Kataib Hezbollah and state-sponsored Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in retaliation for attacks on the Camp Taji military base in Iraq that killed at least three soldiers on 11 March. According to some reports, British forces also took part in the raid.

Iraq has summoned both the US and UK envoys to the country in the follow-up to airstrikes conducted by American forces and reportedly their British colleagues as well. According to an official statement on the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s website, minister Mohammed al-Hakim met with his undersecretaries on 13 March to discuss how to respond to the US forces’ actions in the country.

On the same day Iraqi President Barham Salih slammed the recent US attacks, calling them a violation of the country’s sovereignty. The head of the US central command, however, claims that Washington consulted with Baghdad on the air raid and added that the Iraqi authorities knew the strikes were coming.

The Iraqi military previously condemned the US airstrikes that targeted Iraqi-based group Kataib Hezbollah and state-sponsored Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF). According to the military, the air raid resulted in the deaths of three soldiers, two policemen, and a civilian.

The strike came in response to the missile attack on the Camp Taji military base in Iraq on 11 March that led to the deaths of three servicemen – one UK and two US soldiers according to reports.

The US Department of Defence stated that its forces carried out strikes that were “defensive [and] proportional” in nature. The UK forces reportedly also took part in the raid, but this information has not yet been confirmed by London.

The incident on 11 March took place as US forces are planning to reinforce their positions in Iraq by bringing in more missile defences despite the country’s parliament passing a non-binding resolution calling to terminate all foreign military deployments.

The resolution was adopted after US forces conducted an airstrike near the Baghdad Airport targeting top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani without permission from the Iraqi authorities. Soleimani was visiting the country on a diplomatic mission at that moment.