US air strikes on five targets linked to Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, have caused concern and fallout in Iraq, as political leaders jockey to condemn America. Some Iraqi politicians who are in the pro-Iran camp of parliament have been waiting for this moment for years to argue that US forces should leave Iraq. Others are quietly supportive of the strikes but concerned that they could be leveraged against the US, and they could then lose a key force that balances Iran’s growing role.
For Iran, the US decision to openly strike back against six months of rocket attacks by Iranian-backed militias is a potential boon. Iran’s Press TV has indicated this by airing grievances of Iraqi politicians and highlighting anti-American statements.
The main condemnation came from Iraqi President Barham Saleh, who said the attacks were contrary to US-Iraq agreements, according to Press TV. US forces are in Iraq at the invitation of Baghdad to help fight ISIS; they have no mandate to bomb Iranian-backed militias.