Iraq coalition calls Israeli strikes ‘declaration of war’

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Mourners carry the flag-draped coffins of Abu Ali al-Dabi, a fighter of the Popular Mobilization Forces, who was killed Sunday in a drone attack during his funeral procession in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Two unidentified drones killed two Iraqi members of an Iran-backed paramilitary force on Sunday, the group said in a statement, saying the attack took place in Iraq near the border with Syria. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)

BAGHDAD, Aug 26, (AP): A powerful bloc in Iraq’s parliament called on Monday for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, following a series of airstrikes targeting Iran-backed Shiite militias in the country that have been blamed on Israel.

The Fatah Coalition said it holds the United States fully responsible for the alleged Israeli aggression, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people.”

The coalition is a parliament bloc representing Iran-backed paramilitary militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. The coalition’s statement came a day after a drone strike in the western Iraqi town of Qaim killed a commander with the forces – the latest in strikes apparently conducted by Israel against the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. It added that US troops are no longer needed in Iraq.

The Shiite militiamen, meanwhile, held a funeral procession in Baghdad for the commander killed Sunday. “There is no greater God but God!” the mourners shouted as they marched behind a banner with the words “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Some trampled on an American flag as they marched

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