Baghdad (TeleSUR– “Iraq is not a starting point for attacking other countries,” Al-Abadi said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi has said that if the United States intends to carry out an aggression against the Iranian government, Iraq will not allow the U.S. to use its territory for its aggression.

“Iraq is not a starting point for attacking other countries. If there are clashes between Iran and the United States, then we will not allow the U.S. to take advantage of us,” he said.

“Iraq has its own interests and is an independent country and we call on all countries to respect the independence of Iraq,” Al-Abadi reiterated.

Related: Iraqi VP: Saudis Responsible For Terrorism, Iran Is True Ally

The minister went on to state that it was the continued aggressions between the U.S. and other Middle Eastern nations which created spaces and opportunities for extremist groups like the Islamic State group to grow.

The Iraqi head of state said he supports the process of peaceful dialogue to resolve regional conflicts.

Meanwhile, in Syria, as reports mount of heavy civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S.-led coalition in Raqqa, the United Nations has expressed “deep concern” over the reports and has said it condemns any attack directed against civilians or civilian infrastructure.

Iraq PM Haider Al-Abadi
Image: Wikimedia Commons

According to reports by the Syrian Arab News Agency Tuesday, at least 78 civilians have died in the last 24 hours in Raqqa due to U.S.-coalition led airstrike assaults.

The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 2014, claiming to be targeting Islamic State group, despite its lack of authorization from the Syrian government or the United Nations to carry out such attacks.

U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq have been subject to widespread criticism by various human rights groups for allegedly not taking proper precaution to save civilian life and infrastructure.

This post was originally written for and published by TeleSUR English.