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US attacks Iraqi militia backed by Iran



According to the US, its forces have attacked three locations in Iraq that are utilized by a militia with Iranian support.

“Kataib Hezbollah militia group and other Iran-affiliated groups” were the targets of the “proportionate” strikes, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

According to him, the precision strikes were carried out “in direct response” to actions in Syria and Iraq against US and coalition allies.

However, they were described as a “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty” by a top Iraqi official.

The US strikes, according to Qassem al-Aaraji, Iraq’s national security adviser, did not contribute to the country’s quiet.

He stated that “the US should pile on pressure for a halt to the Israeli offensive in Gaza rather than targeting and bombing the bases of an Iraqi national body” in a post on X, the former Twitter.

He was alluding to the coalition of the Popular Mobilization Force (Hashed al-Shaabi), a former paramilitary group sponsored by Iran that is currently a part of the regular armed forces.

A missile attack on an airfield in western Iraq last week resulted in several injuries to US military personnel.

They were “undergoing evaluation for traumatic brain injuries,” according to US officials.

At the time, the US military’s Central Command (CentCom) reported that ballistic missiles and rockets were fired at the US military’s Al Asad airbase by a group supported by Iran.

The attackers of that attack were identified as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

The group, which began operating in Iraq in late 2023, is made up of a number of military organizations with ties to Iran. In recent weeks, it has claimed further assaults against US forces.

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Mr. Austin commended the “professionalism” of US military forces in a statement, saying that the latest attacks in Iraq were planned and carried out as part of efforts “to further dismantle and degrade ISIS [the Islamic State group].”

Joe Biden, the US president, and Mr. Austin emphasized that they “will not hesitate to take necessary action” to protect US interests.

“We don’t want the violence in the area to get worse. We are ready to take additional steps to safeguard our personnel and infrastructure. We demand that these organizations immediately stop their attacks, as well as their Iranian backers,” he declared.

CentCom stated in a second statement that the attacks were launched at 00:15 local time (21:15 GMT on Tuesday) in retaliation for the attack on the Al Asad airbase in western Iraq on January 20, among other incidents.

“These strikes targeted [Kataib Hezbollah] headquarters, storage, and training locations for rocket, missile, and one-way attack UAV capabilities,” CentCom stated.

The locations of the attacked militia facilities in Iraq were not disclosed by the US military.

The assault on the Al Asad airbase on Saturday came after a US drone strike in Baghdad earlier this month that claimed the life of a militia leader who supported Iran.

Since the beginning of the Israel-Gaza war in October, militants with ties to Iran have launched many attacks against US troops in Syria and Iraq.

The UK and other allies of the US military have also stepped in to halt Houthi missile strikes on foreign ships in the Red Sea.

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The Houthis, an insurgent group supported by Iran that holds sway over most of western Yemen, have been targeted by strikes conducted by Washington and London.

CentCom reported on Wednesday that two Houthi anti-ship missiles “that were aimed into the southern Red Sea and were prepared to launch” had been hit by US forces in a second round of attacks.

“After locating the missiles in Yemeni territory under Houthi control, US forces concluded that they posed an immediate threat to nearby merchant ships as well as US Navy vessels.” In self-defense, US forces later attacked and destroyed the missiles,” CentCom continued.

Over the past week, the Iranian military has launched several missile strikes against locations in Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq.

Five top members of Iran’s security forces were murdered in an airstrike near Damascus, Syria, last Saturday, according to accusations made by Iran against Israel.

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