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Iraq Rejects Joining US-Led Maritime Coalition

Iraq Rejects Joining US-Led Maritime Coalition

Created: September 19, 2019 01:49 PM

Iraq's Foreign Ministry spokesman says it will not join a U.S.-led coalition to protect waterways across the Mideast after an attack on Saudi oil installations.

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Ahmad al-Sahhaf says Gulf security is the responsibility of Gulf countries. In a statement Thursday, he said Iraq rejects Israel's participation in the coalition.

The U.S. formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that American officials blame on Iran, as well as Iran's seizure of tankers in the region. Israeli media quoted an Israeli official in August saying the country had joined the coalition, but the only publicly pledged countries recognized by the U.S. are Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates.

Iraq, which is allied with both Iran and the U.S., has tried to keep a neutral stance amid the tensions.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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