Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi

A spokesperson for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi condemned overnight U.S. airstrikes along the Iraq-Syria border as a violation of sovereignty. (Photo: Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Iraq Says Bombings Ordered by Biden a 'Blatant and Unacceptable Violation' of Sovereignty

"We call for calm and to avoid escalation in all its forms," the Iraqi statement added.

Jessica Corbett

Echoing criticism from across the globe on Monday, the Iraqi government slammed the Biden administration for overnight U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria at facilities the Pentagon says were used by Iran-backed militias.

"We condemn the U.S. air attack that targeted a site last night on the Iraqi-Syrian border, which represents a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security in accordance with all international conventions," said a spokesperson for the commander in chief of Iraq's armed forces, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

"Iraq renews its refusal to be an arena for settling accounts, and clings to its right to sovereignty over its lands, and to prevent it from being used as an arena for reactions and attacks," said the Iraqi statement.

"We call for calm and to avoid escalation in all its forms, stressing that Iraq will carry out the necessary investigations, procedures, and contacts at various levels to prevent such violations," the spokesperson added.

The strikes also led to an emergency meeting of national security officials in Iraq:

The Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iraqi militias, reportedly said that four fighters were killed in the U.S. attack. However, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at seven fighters and said several others wounded, according to Al Jazeera.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that at the direction of President Joe Biden, the U.S. military hit "operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq" used by Iran-backed militia groups to engage in drone attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in the region.

Although no Americans have been hurt, the New York Times reports that U.S. officials say that "at least five times since April, the Iranian-backed militias have used small, explosive-laden drones that divebomb and crash into their targets in late-night attacks on Iraqi bases—including those used by the CIA and U.S. Special Operations units."

As Common Dreams reported earlier Monday, while Kirby claimed the strikes ordered by Biden were "designed to limit the risk of escalation," Stephen Miles, executive director of U.S.-based advocacy group Win Without War, responded: "Know what would actually be deescalatory? Leaving Iraq."

The U.S. has roughly 2,500 troops in Iraq and about 900 in Syria. Biden previously authorized strikes in Syria in late February, also targeting facilities the administration said belonged to Iran-backed militia groups.

The strikes come amid negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal. Biden ran on a promise to return the United States to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as it is officially called, that his predecessor ditched in 2018. The Trump administration instead pursued a "maximum pressure" campaign that ramped up devastating sanctions against Iran.

"Iran—weakened by years of harsh economic sanctions—is using its proxy militias in Iraq to step up pressure on the United States and other world powers to negotiate an easing of those sanctions as part of a possible revival of the 2015 nuclear deal," the Times reports. "Iraqi and American officials say Iran has devised the drone attacks to minimize casualties to avoid prompting U.S. retaliation."

The U.S. strikes also follow the House of Representatives earlier this month passing legislation to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. Now, all eyes are on the Senate for that effort.

Notably, Kirby did not cite the 2002 AUMF for the strikes. Instead, he highlighted the right of self-defense and the president's authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution to protect American personnel in Iraq.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo