US strikes Iraq in retaliation

US Iraq

WASHINGTON: United States’ Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced the US military has conducted airstrikes in Iraq on what they claim to be three facilities used by an alleged Iranian-backed militia. 

The Secretary of Defense added that these strikes were a response to attacks carried out by Iranian-backed forces against US military personnel.

The US military forces were attacked via a drone on the Erbil Air Base on December 25. According to the Pentagon, a US solider was critically injured, while two sustained nonthreatening injuries.  

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The drone attack was conducted by Kataib Hezabollah, claimed the Defense Secretary. The United States President Joe Biden was immediately informed of the attack, who immediately ordered an attack on the responsible party. 

Three locations were identified as being utilised by the militia. While it is believed many of the militia personnel were injured, the United States’ Central Command was quick to stress that no civilians were harmed.

The latest strike against the US personnel is one in a series of attacks by what the US government claims are Iranian-backed forces active in Syria and Iraq. The series of attacks commenced when Israel started striking Gaza in October of this year.

According to the Washing Institute, a loose faction of guerilla forces called Islamic Resistance of Iraq has recently united following Israeli airstrikes on Palestinians. Allegedly backed by Iran, their main objective is to allow coordinated attacks against the US forces in Iraq and Syria.

The current attacks are part of the larger Israel-Palestine conflict. The latest conflict began in October 2023, when relentless assault by Israeli forces into Gaza has killed 20 000 Palestinians till date. The US also rushed billions in military aid to Israel. This move has led to widespread anger amongst the Middle Eastern against the US and fielded the recent rounds of attack against the US forces. Despite major pullout of US forces from Iraq back in 2011, almost 2,500 troops still remain mainly in Baghdad.

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