China on Friday called for respecting Syria’s sovereignty after the US military carried out airstrikes late Thursday against infrastructure used by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria.

“China calls on all parties concerned to respect Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and avoid adding new complications to Syria’s situation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news conference in Beijing, according to CGTN network.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement last night that the strikes were directed by US President Joe Biden in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq.

“Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah [KH] and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada [KSS],” said the statement.

Thursday’s strike is Biden’s first known military action since taking office in January.

The strike came after multiple rocket attacks on American forces in Iraq.

On Monday, in the latest incident, a rocket attack targeted Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, an area that hosts most foreign diplomatic missions, including the US Embassy.

The Green Zone has regularly come under rocket attack since the assassination in January last year of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike.

Washington blames Iran-backed Shia militias for such rocket attacks on foreign diplomatic missions and the US and foreign troops in Iraq.

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