North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) chief Jens Stoltenberg took to twitter to condemn the Iranian missile attacks on the US and coalition forces in Iraq. Also, on behalf of NATO, he has asked Iran to refrain from further violence.
I condemn the Iranian missile attacks on US & @coalition forces in Iraq. #NATO calls on Iran to refrain from further violence. Allies continue to consult & remain committed to our training mission in Iraq. pic.twitter.com/6PdXMZxSNB— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 8, 2020
NATO earlier released a statement claiming that there were no casualties among the troops on its training mission in Iraq but it was moving some personnel out because of the increased danger following Soleimani's killings. The organisation had already suspended the training mission until the situation got better.
The attack came just a day after Stoltenberg warned Iran against further violence and provocations saying a new conflict would be in no-one’s interest. On January 6, he chaired a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, amid heightened tensions in the aftermath of top Iranian military commander’s death. While Iraq recently asked foreign military forces to leave its soil amid soaring tensions, NATO chief said that they are helping to train forces and prevent the return of ISIS, adding they have suspended training on the ground for time being.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq that houses the US and coalition forces was hit by multiple rockets. This incident was first reported by Iranian state TV, who described it as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani. This also follows the development where the pro-Tehran factions in Iraq vowed to join forces and respond to the US for the killing of Iranian General.
Meanwhile, Qais al-Khazali, a top commander in Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary network has said that it was time for an Iraqi response to the US drone strike that killed the network's deputy chief, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. In a tweet, he said, “The response will be no less than the size of the Iranian response. That is a promise."