January 8, 2020 / 9:01 AM / 13 days ago

Iran-allied Iraqi political bloc says Tehran had a right to respond - Iraqi state news agency

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi political alliance backed by Iran said on Wednesday that Washington’s killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis gave Tehran the right to respond, the Iraqi state news agency said.

“The American aggression provided justification for the Iranian response,” the Fatih alliance representing mostly Iran-backed Shi’ite militia leaders in parliament said, according to the agency. The alliance holds the second-largest number of seats in the assembly.

“Washington insists on making Iraq the battlefield for its conflict with Iran,” it said.

Iran launched missiles at U.S.-led forces in Iraq early on Wednesday, retaliating for the U.S. drone strike on the Iranian commander whose killing last week stoked fears of a new Middle East war.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein

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