Iran summons Swiss envoy for US attack accusations

Iran summoned a Swiss envoy in Tehran, who represents American interests, after Washington accused Iran for recent attack that killed two U.S. service members in Iraq.

Ambassador Markus Leitner was summoned to the foreign ministry and "has been warned against the consequences of any ill-advised measure from the Americans," Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Following the baseless remarks by the US president that the Islamic Republic of Iran is held accountable for the attack on the base of coalition forces in Iraq’s al-Taji, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represents the US interests, was summoned by the Director General for the Americas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday evening, March 13, 2020, and was notified of our country’s strong protests against those comments (by the US president),” ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said in a statement.

“The representative of the interests of the United States was told in the meeting that instead of accusing the others, the US president must accept the truth about the wrong US policies on the illegal presence in Iraq and the killing of the Iraqi commanders and soldiers, which has become the main reason for the Iraqi people’s hatred towards the US,” Mousavi said.

He also said "wrong U.S. policies" in Iraq have created current tensions and U.S. officials, President Donald Trump in particular, "could not shirk responsibility by making groundless and dangerous remarks."

Iraqi Al-Taji military airbase, located 85 kilometers (53 miles) north of Baghdad, which houses the U.S. forces, was targeted Wednesday by 10 Katyusha rockets, according to Iraq's state-run Security Media Network.

Two U.S. service members and one British national were killed, and 12 others were injured on the airbase, which houses joint forces including Iraqi and American soldiers as well as other foreign forces from the U.S.-led international coalition.

U.S. media blamed the attack on Iranian-backed groups in Iraq.

Early Thursday, the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition struck three military sites in eastern Syria belonging to the Iranian army, according to sources in Deir ez-Zur.

The Imam Ali military base, located close to the eastern Syrian town of Abu Kamal near the Iraqi border, and military points in industrial regions and the al-Hizam area were targeted in coalition air strikes, sources said.

A total of 25 terrorists affiliated with the Iran-backed foreign groups, including two so-called top military commanders, were neutralized and tens of others were injured.

On Saturday, the Al-Taji military airbase was targeted by rockets for a second time this week. No casualties or damages have been reported.

Source: Anadolu Agency