Iraq 'studies legal options' over U.S. strike on Iran-aligned fighters - statement

·1-min read
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi hold a news conference in Berlin

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi government condemned a U.S. air raid against Iran-aligned fighters along its border with Syria on Monday and said it would "study all legal options" to prevent such action being repeated.

The cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, held an emergency security meeting the day after the U.S. air strikes, which it called a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

It was a rare criticism of U.S. action by the government of Kadhimi, who is seen as friendly to the United States and has tried to check the power of Iran-aligned militias.

Iraqi officials say they want to avoid being dragged into a tit-for-tat escalation between Washington and Tehran.

The groups the United States targeted are Iran-aligned militia factions that operate as part of Iraq's state paramilitary apparatus.

(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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