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Iran says the attacks by the United States inside Iraq and Syria are a “strategic error” that will only add to tensions and instability in the Middle East heightened by Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

The US forces launched a wave of air strikes against Iranian-backed fighters in Iraq and Syria on Friday in retaliation for a drone attack in Jordan that killed three American soldiers on Sunday.

US President Joe Biden later said the strikes “will continue at times and places of our choosing”.

In a statement on Saturday, Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said the US attacks were a “violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, international law, and a clear violation of the United Nations Charter”.

“The attacks merely support the goals of the Zionist regime. Such attacks increasingly involve the US government in the region and overshadow the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza,” it said, referring to Israel.

“The continuation of such adventures is a threat to regional and international peace and security,” it added, urging the United Nations Security Council and the international community to prevent the expansion of the crisis.

The Iranian statement said the “roots of the tension and crisis in the region go back to the occupation by the Israeli regime and the continuation of this regime’s military operations in Gaza and the genocide of the Palestinians with the unlimited support of the US”.

“The return of stability and security to the region cannot be imagined but through focusing on the root cause of the crisis and resolving it,” it said.

The US has operated military bases around the Middle East for decades. There are about 30,000 US soldiers scattered across the region. In addition, since the Gaza war began in October, the US has temporarily sent thousands of additional troops to the region, including on warships.

Friday’s strikes by the US appeared to stop short of directly targeting Iran or senior leaders of the Iranian army within its borders. Iran has denied it was behind the Jordan attack.


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