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Russian lawmakers criticize US invasion of Iraq

Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday asked Turkey not to launch a cross-border offensive against Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq, and said the U.S.invasion of Iraq was a "gross violation of international law."

In a resolution, lawmakers in Duma, which is dominated by the Kremlin-backed party United Russia said the 2003 invasion had "irreparable damage to civil society" in Iraq.

"In the absence of convincing evidence of Iraq's production, storage or use of prohibited forms of weapons, this step by the United States and its allies ... has become a gross violation of international law," the resolution said.

"A military operation in northern Iraq will further destabilize the already tense situation in the region," said the resolution, which passed 338-0.

Turkey should "evaluate all possible negative consequences of a cross-border counterterrorism operation ... and display characteristic wisdom, foresight and restraint," it said.

Turkey's parliament was expected Wednesday to authorize a government request seeking authorization for a military campaign in northern Iraq. U.S. officials have pleaded with Turkey, a NATO ally, to seek a diplomatic solution.

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