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Statement by U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell on U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria
December 30, 2019

There have been 11 attacks on Iraqi bases from Hizballah-linked forces in the last 60 days.  The latest unprovoked attack by Hizballah proxy forces killed a U.S. contractor and wounded four U.S. service members.  In response, the U.S. government yesterday launched targeted airstrikes against these Iranian-backed paramilitary forces, which are supported by Iran’s Quds Force and Lebanese Hizballah, the same groups publicly and violently denying Western values and the existence of Israel across Europe.  The United States and our coalition partners respect Iraqi sovereignty and support a strong and independent Iraq; however Iran and its proxy forces continue to attack without provocation. The United States has long voiced concern about Iran’s malign activities and urges our allies in Brussels to follow the German parliament’s example in confronting Hizballah as a terrorist group.  Iranian proxies cannot be allowed to further destabilize critical regions in the Middle East.