U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Militia Sites in Iraq After Christmas Day Attack

Attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq have reportedly increased amid the conflict in Gaza
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 03:47 AM, December 26, 2023
  • 570
U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Militia Sites in Iraq After Christmas Day Attack
U.S. troops in eastern Baghdad in 2008 @U.S. DoD

In response to an attack on Christmas Day leaving three American military personnel injured, the United States conducted precision strikes on three facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in Iraq.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III deemed the strikes "necessary" and "proportionate," retaliating for a series of Iranian-sponsored militia attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, including one on Erbil Air Base earlier that day.

The Christmas Day attack resulted in three U.S. personnel injuries, with one in critical condition. Austin expressed prayers for the injured individuals.

President Biden and Secretary Austin emphasized their commitment to defending the United States, its troops, and interests. While stating a lack of intent to escalate conflict, they declared readiness for further measures to safeguard American people and facilities.

Kataib Hezbollah, founded in 2007 with support from Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was declared a 'Foreign Terrorist Organisation' by the U.S. in 2009. Sanctions were imposed on its Secretary General, Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, for violence against U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.

Attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq have reportedly increased amid the conflict in Gaza between U.S. ally Israel and Hamas, with casualties in Gaza contributing to anger in the Middle East and attacks on American troops.

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

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