France has condemned the attacks carried out by Iran on two Iraqi military bases that were hosting US-led coalition forces. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian issued a statement on Wednesday where he condemned the Iranian attacks and made Paris' stance clear on the issue. The statement issued by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs read, "France condemns the attacks carried out in Iraq by Iran overnight against Global Coalition Against Daesh bases. It reiterates its solidarity with its allies and partners in the Coalition and its commitment to Iraq’s sovereignty and security."
"De-escalation is a priority more than ever. The cycle of violence must be stopped. For its part, France remains determined to work to ease tensions. It is in contact with all the parties concerned in order to encourage restraint and a sense of responsibility. France recalls the importance of continuing the fight against Daesh, whilst fully respecting Iraq’s sovereignty," the statement read further.
The tensions between Iran and the United States escalated this morning after Tehran fired over a dozen missiles on two Iraqi military bases. According to a statement issued by the Iraqi military, Iran fired 22 missiles, of which 17 fell on Ain al-Asad airbase, hosting US troops, while five fell on coalition headquarters in the city of Erbil. The attacks on coalition forces came days after the United States killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike near Baghdad airport on January 3. Washington alleges that Soleiman is responsible for plotting and executing multiple attacks on US troops in the region as well as the recent attack on the US embassy in Iraq on December 31.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led thousands of mourners in Tehran for prayers at the funeral of the slain military commander on January 6. Soleimani was responsible for the expansion of Tehran's interests in the region and to Khamenei directly. His influence in the region spread through Iraq, Syria and from Lebanon to Yemen. Soleimani is credited for helping the Iraqi military defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).