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UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council was to convene Monday at Russia’s demand to discuss US air strikes on Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for a deadly drone attack on American soldiers.

The meeting scheduled for 4:00 pm (2100 GMT) was requested urgently by Moscow, which labelled the US strikes acts of aggression against sovereign states and said they were raising tensions in the Middle East as the Israel-Hamas war rages.

Iran ‘strongly’ condemns US attacks on Iraq, Syria

The US military struck targets in Syria and Iraq overnight on Friday to Saturday, in retaliation for a January 28 drone attack on a base in Jordan that killed three US soldiers.

The White House said Sunday it plans more US retaliation.

The American strikes on dozens of targets – said by Washington to be Iran-backed fighters – drew criticism from Iraq and Syria and also from Iran, which denies any role in last month’s drone attack.

“There is no group affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, whether in Iraq, Syria or elsewhere, that operates directly or indirectly under the control of the Islamic Republic of Iran or acts on its behalf,” Iran’s UN ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani said in a letter to the Security Council that was published Monday.

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