Iraq condemns deadly attack on US troops in Jordan

Iraq condemns deadly attack on US troops in Jordan

BAGHDAD (Reuters): The Iraqi government on Monday condemned an attack that killed three US service members in Jordan, describing it as part of an escalation that threatens regional stability and urging an end to “the cycle of violence”.

The United States has accused Iran-backed militant groups in Syria and Iraq of carrying out the attack, the first deadly blow against US forces since the eruption of the Gaza war touched off violence across the Middle East.

“The Iraqi government condemns the ongoing escalation, particularly the recent attack on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and is closely monitoring with great concern the alarming security developments in the region,” Iraqi government spokesperson Basim Alawadi said in a statement.

Iran-aligned groups have been waging attacks against Israeli and US targets from Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, since their Palestinian ally Hamas and Israel went to war on Oct. 7.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella organisation of hardline Iran-backed militant groups, on Sunday, claimed attacks on three bases, including one on the Jordan-Syria border.

Iraq’s government is backed by parties and militias close to Iran, though not directly by the hardline groups that have been firing on US forces, Western and Iraqi officials say. Baghdad has condemned the attacks while also saying regional escalation would continue as long as the Gaza war went on.

The attack took place one day after Iraq and the United States initiated talks on the end of a US-led international military coalition that deployed to Iraq a decade ago as part of the campaign against Islamic State.

Iran-aligned Iraqi militias said they would continue attacks on US forces despite the talks, expected to take months to years with the outcome unclear.