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Barham Salih, Iraqs newly elected president, walks with Iraqs new Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi at the parliament headquarters, in Baghdad, Iraq October 2, 2018. .(Photo by: REUTERS/KHALID AL MOUSILY)
Iraqi PM: 'Iraq ready to respond to aggression with all available means'
By TZVI JOFFRE
08/27/2019
The cabinet confirmed Iraq's "full commitment to its constitutional and national responsibilities to defend the security and safety of Iraq, its people and national sovereignty over all its soil."
Iraq is ready to respond firmly and with all available means to any aggression launched from outside or inside the country, said Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday, according to Al Sumaria.
 
The Prime minister gave a briefing on the latest political and security developments in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, according to Mahdi's office. The cabinet was briefed on the results of the ongoing investigations into the attacks on weapons stores and munitions in a number of places.
 
During the meeting, Mahdi briefed the cabinet on follow-up preventive and protective measures for all weapons stores and explained strategic plans to deal with potential new developments.
 
Mahdi explained about the "high readiness" of the Iraqi armed forces to defend Iraq and its citizens and stressed Iraq's readiness to respond firmly and by all means available to any aggression.

The Iraqi prime minister also discussed diplomatic efforts being made with neighboring countries and in the international arena in order "to explain the position of Iraq and mobilize regional and international support for solidarity with it and its just position and its policy in support of peace and stability," stated Mahdi's office.
 
The cabinet affirmed their support for Mahdi's "clear vision in managing the crisis and reassurance of the capabilities of our people and our armed forces and for the significant development in the status of Iraq in its Arab, regional and international environment, and to continue Iraq's clear policy of rejecting escalation and the policy of axes and the use of its territory to attack others."
 
"Iraq continues to play its influential and constructive role in defusing the crisis that threatens the security of the region and the world and undermines the efforts to fight ISIS and threatens the security of Iraq, the region and the world," added the statement. They also confirmed Iraq's "full commitment to its constitutional and national responsibilities to defend the security and safety of Iraq, its people and national sovereignty over all its soil."
 
"The sensitive situation that Iraq is going through requires acting with wisdom, courage and great concern for the present and future of Iraq and its people, and requires unity of the national ranks in all its political and media activities," said the cabinet.
 
The cabinet emphasized "Iraq's right to take the necessary legal and diplomatic measures through regional institutions, the Security Council and the United Nations to defend its sovereignty and security and by all legitimate means."
 
Ahmed al-Asadi, a Popular Mobilization Forces official, said last week that the targeting of PMF headquarters at two Iraqi bases over the past few weeks and the entrance of Israel into Iraqi territory is a "declaration of war against Iraq, its people and its sovereignty," according to Al-Sumaria.
 
"Israel's entry into our national sphere declares war against Iraq, its people, sovereignty and capabilities, and silence on aggression is not a rational position, but rationality and political realism require the exhaustion of diplomatic options with the UN Security Council so that Iraq, its army and its people are in a situation of military deterrence against aggression and drones," said al-Asadi.
 
"We are keeping the option of responding open," said al-Asadi. "They wanted an open war and there is a legitimate and national duty to stop that war in the spirit of open response."
 
Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy chairman of the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, announced last week that the US had allowed four Israeli aircraft to operate in Iraqi airspace and attack bases belonging to Shia militias, according to the independent Iraqi TV network Al Sumeria.
 
"We have no choice but to defend ourselves and our headquarters with our existing weapons and to use more sophisticated weapons," added the PMF official.
 
At least three airstrikes have hit bases held by Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq since the beginning of July.
 
Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to questions about recent explosions in Iraq, saying that, "Iran has no immunity anywhere. A state that says 'We are going to destroy you' – we will act against them wherever needed,'" according to Walla! news. When asked whether this holds true in terms of Iraq, the prime minister responded, "I haven't limited myself."
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