New US airstrike kills five pro-Iranian fighters in Iraq | Guardian Nigeria News

U.S. and Iraqi sources said early Wednesday that U.S. warplanes struck two targets in Iraq, attacking five pro-Iranian fighters in retaliation for repeated attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq by Iranian-backed groups. killed someone.

U.S. Central Command said on X (formerly Twitter) that U.S. forces “conducted separate precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq.”

The post added that “this airstrike was a direct response to attacks by Iran and Iranian-backed groups against U.S. and coalition forces,” and echoed previous U.S. attacks on Iranian-backed fighters in Iraq. It added that it was carried out the day after the airstrike.

Iraqi security forces officials said Wednesday’s airstrike killed five fighters from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah Brigades within Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces). Hashed officials confirmed the death toll.

Wednesday’s attacks were carried out by U.S. warplanes on two facilities south of Baghdad, a Pentagon official said on condition of anonymity.

Hours earlier, an Iranian-backed fighter jet fired a short-range ballistic missile at U.S. and allied personnel, after which a fighter jet struck the vehicle, the Pentagon said.

This is the first time the United States has announced an attack on Iranian-backed forces in Iraq since Iranian-backed forces launched a series of attacks against American targets in response to Washington’s support for Israel in its war to annihilate Hamas. .

But Washington has targeted Iranian-backed groups in neighboring Syria, carrying out three airstrikes in recent weeks.

Since the Gaza conflict erupted on Oct. 7 with deadly Hamas attacks on Israel, U.S. forces deployed to Iraq and Syria have been attacked at least 66 times, most recently on Monday, Pentagon officials said. It is said that the attack occurred on the night of

“Last night, we confirmed an attack by an Iranian-backed militia against U.S. and coalition forces at Al Asad Air Base using short-range ballistic missiles, resulting in the death of eight people,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said in a statement. “There were injuries and minor damage to infrastructure.” said in a statement.

– “Self-defense attack” –
Ain al-Asad Air Base, located in Anbar province west of Baghdad, is home to troops from the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.

“Immediately after the attack, U.S. military AC-130 aircraft in the area conducted self-defense strikes against Iranian-backed militia vehicles and numerous Iranian-backed militia members involved in the attack. A KIA (killed in action) occurred,” Ryder said.

A group calling itself the Iraqi Islamic Resistance Group said one fighter had been killed, but did not elaborate on the circumstances.

The surge in attacks on U.S. forces comes amid Israel’s relentless assault on Hamas, which the Gaza Health Ministry says has left 14,100 people dead, thousands of them civilians.

Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas in response to a shocking cross-border attack from Gaza on October 7 that Israeli authorities said killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians. ing.

U.S. forces have “been attacked approximately 66 times since October 17th, 32 times in Iraq and 34 times in Syria,” Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon spokeswoman, told reporters in Washington. he said.

He said the attack left about 62 U.S. military personnel injured, but that number did not include the eight mentioned by Ryder.

U.S. troops have been targeted in both Iraq and Syria, but the U.S. has previously sought to avoid escalating political tensions in Iraq, which the U.S. invaded in 2003 and where Iran wields significant influence. The country has responded only with attacks in Syria.

Singh said the militants were targeted in Iraq “because the AC-130s were able to pinpoint the source from which short-range ballistic missiles were fired at the base,” and then tracked the militants in their vehicles. He said he did.

He added that it was the first time such munitions had been used against US forces since the wave of attacks began on October 17.

Sources in the Hashd, a largely pro-Iranian force now integrated into Iraq’s regular army, had previously confirmed that one fighter was killed and three others injured in the attack on the vehicle.

The fighter’s funeral was held at a mosque in Baghdad on Tuesday and was attended by hundreds of Hashd fighters, an AFP reporter reported.

Approximately 2,500 US troops are stationed in Iraq and 900 in Syria as part of efforts to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State extremist group.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *