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GAZA STRIP: Palestinian group Hamas on Saturday condemned overnight US strikes in Iraq and Syria, saying Washington had poured “oil on the fire” in the Middle East.

The US “bears responsibility for the consequences of this brutal aggression against both Iraq and Syria, which pour oil on the fire,” the group said in a statement issued in English.

“We confirm that the region will not witness stability or peace except by stopping the Zionist (Israeli) aggression and the crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing against our people in the Gaza Strip.”

The United States launched air strikes against Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria and promised more to come, in retaliation for a drone attack that killed three US soldiers in Jordan on Sunday.

The US military said it attacked a total of 85 targets at seven different sites in Syria and Iraq. The strikes killed at least 23 pro-Iranian fighters in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said. In Iraq, they killed 16 people, including civilians, the Baghdad government said.

US and allied troops have been attacked more than 165 times in Iraq, Syria and Jordan since mid-October in a campaign waged by Iran-backed armed groups angered by US support for Israel in the war in Gaza.

The war broke out following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

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