BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – Several Iraqi legislators have warned the U.S. to withdraw its troops from the country based on the parliament’s earlier approval or wait for the nation’s furious and forceful response.
"If the U.S. insists on remaining in Iraq, there are several ways to expel the U.S. troops and if these ways fail to expel the occupiers who savagely attacked the Iraqi forces last Friday, the military option will be put into effect,” member of the Iraqi legislature’s security and defense committee Karim Aliwi said in an interview with the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm on Sunday.
He underlined the necessity for the Iraqi government to take rapid action to enforce the parliament’s approval on the expulsion of foreign troops.
Hassan al-Ka’abi, the representative of Badr fraction at the parliament, warned if the U.S. troops are not pulled out of Iraq, they will come to witness a harsh response.
"Insistence on illegal presence in Iraq will have negative impacts on the U.S. and the coalition forces,” he told Baghdad al-Youm.
Three American troops and several Iraqi forces were wounded on Saturday in the second major rocket attack in the past week on an Iraqi base north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials say, raising the stakes in an escalating cycle of attacks and reprisals.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said 33 Katyusha rockets were launched near a section of the Taji base which houses U.S.-led coalition troops. It said the military found seven rocket launchers and 24 unused rockets in the nearby Abu Izam area.
The Iraqi military said several Iraqi servicemen were critically wounded. Two of the three wounded U.S. troops are seriously injured and are being treated at a military hospital in Baghdad, the Pentagon said.
The rocket attacks came less than two days after the United States launched air strikes at facilities in Iraq that the Pentagon linked to the Kataib Hezbollah fighters, which it blamed for Wednesday’s attack on Taji.
The strikes were allegedly meant to deter the fighters from staging any more rocket attacks.
Not only did the retaliatory strikes appear to fail to stem more attacks on the U.S.-led coalition, Iraq protested the U.S. air strikes and said members of its security forces were among the dead.
The official Iraqi casualty figures showed three Iraqi soldiers, two policemen, one civilian and no militiamen were killed in the U.S. strikes, which Baghdad condemned as a violation of its sovereignty and targeted aggression against its troops.
The Iraqi military said on Saturday that the United States should not use the latest attack as a pretext to take military action without Iraq’s approval.