Iran criticises US offensive in Iraq

April 20th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, April 20 (Xinhua) The Iranian ambassador to Iraq has strongly criticised the US military operations in Baghdad’s main Shia bastion of Sadr city that killed many civilians. “We criticize the pounding of cities and the siege of people, which will aggravate the situations and make things worse,” the Iranian envoy Hassan Kazemi Qomi told a news conference at the Iranian Embassy here late Saturday.

“The insistence of the Americans to lay siege on Sadr city has led to the killing of innocent people and is a mistake that will lead to negative results and the Iraqi government will have to shoulder the responsibility,” Qomi added.

He, however, said that his country supported the Iraqi government’s crackdown on Shia militias in the southern city of Basra launched March 25.

Qomi’s comments came as US and Iraqi troops, backed by aircraft, conducted an operation in several parts of the sprawling slum of Sadr city Friday, killing at least eight people and wounding 61.

For the past three weeks, Sadr City has witnessed fierce clashes between Shia militias and Iraqi and US forces. US military staged dozens of air strikes in the sprawling district of over two million people.

Local Beladi TV channel quoted medical sources as reporting that at least 330 citizens were killed and 1,621 wounded during the continual clashes and air strikes in Sadr city since March 25.

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