US airstrikes in Iraq: targeted Iranian-backed militia sites
The US has launched airstrikes In Iraq against Iran-backed Shia Militia Group (SMG) Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) facilities.
Five weapons storage facilities were targeted with defensive precision strikes.
According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), the facilities also include weapons storage systems used to target US and coalition military personnel.
These strategic airstrikes in Iraq were carried out in response to an Iranian-backed SMG attack on Camp Taji, which killed two U.S. servicemen and one U.K. soldier while leaving 14 others injured.
“The US will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies,” US Secretary of Defense Mark T Esper said. “As we have demonstrated in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.”
Following the attack, the Iraqi security forces were able to capture a modified rocket tube truck used for the attack.
US airstrikes in Iraq
Up to 18 rockets have struck the area housing coalition forces.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The response to the cowardly attack on coalition forces in Iraq has been swift, decisive and proportionate.
“We will continue working with our partners to ensure those responsible for these deplorable acts will be held to account. UK forces are in Iraq with coalition partners to help the country counter terrorist activity and anyone seeking to harm them can expect a strong response.”
During discussions with senior Iraqi officials, the Pentagon reemphasized its commitment to protecting coalition service members and to preventing Shia militia group attacks on coalition forces.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee said, “The United States must always act to protect and defend our service members who risk their lives every day to protect Americans and our values. As we continue to review information regarding these latest strikes, I also strongly condemn the terrorist attack that killed Coalition Forces on Wednesday, including two U.S. service members and one British service member.“
“The United States mourns alongside all of the families who lost their loved ones at Camp Taji, and I sincerely hope our Iraqi partners will continue working closely with us towards our common goal of supporting a stable, secure, and independent Iraq”, he added.