December 30, 2019 / 2:33 PM / 22 days ago

Iraq's Sistani condemns U.S. air strikes on militia

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani condemned on Monday U.S. air strikes that hit several bases of an Iran-backed militia and killed at least 25 people, demanding respect for Iraq’s sovereignty.

The “illegal practices carried out by some sides” must not be used as a reason to violate Iraq’s sovereignty, Sistani’s office said in a statement.

“The Iraqi authorities alone are entitled to deal with these practices and take the necessary measures to prevent them. They are called upon do so and to ensure Iraq does not become a field for settling regional and international scores and that others do not interfere in its internal affairs,” Sistani said.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Gareth Jones

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