US airstrikes on five targets linked to Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, has caused concern and fallout in Iraq as political leader jockey to condemn the US. 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 US airstrikes but concerned that it could be leveraged against the US and they could 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 Iran’s 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.