Russia accuses Biden of seeking election boost with Syria, Iraq strikes

Author:Reuters 2024-02-06 08:50 8

Russia accused President Joe Biden on Monday of carrying out strikes in Iraq and Syria to boost his image as the presidential election campaign "is heating up" - not in retaliation for a deadly attack on U.S. soldiers.

President Joe Biden (AP)

The United States began the airstrikes on Friday against dozens of targets linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and allied groups after three U.S. soldiers were killed in Jordan in an attack that Washington blames on Iranian-backed militias.

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Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, at a meeting of the Security Council on the strikes which was requested by Moscow, said there was no justification for the U.S. action.

"We see in these 'flex their muscles' attempts, first of all, a desire to influence domestic political landscape in America, a desire to somehow correct the disastrous image of the current American administration on the international arena as the presidential election campaign is heating up," he said.

U.S. voters will go to the polls in November to elect a president for the next four years. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Nebenzia's remarks about Biden.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood justified the U.S. strikes in Syria and Iraq under article 51 of the founding U.N. Charter, which covers the individual or collective right of states to self-defense against armed attack.

"Let me be clear: The United States does not desire more conflict in a region when we are actively working to contain and de-escalate the conflict in Gaza. And we are not seeking a direct conflict with Iran. But we will continue to defend our personnel against unacceptable attacks. Period," Wood said.

He added that the strikes in Syria and Iraq were a "separate and distinct" operation from U.S. and British strikes against the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen in response to the Houthi targeting of shipping in the Red Sea.

The Pentagon on Monday said it was not aware of any Iranian deaths in the recent strikes.

Iran's U.N. Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani condemned the U.S. action as "illegitimate, illegal, and unjustified."

"All of the resistance groups in the region are independent," he told the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Monday.

“Any attempt to attribute these actions to Iran or its Armed forces is misleading, baseless, and unacceptable. Iran never seeks to contribute to the spillover in the region.”

Title:Russia accuses Biden of seeking election boost with Syria, Iraq strikes

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