US warns Iranian-backed militia leaders they could be targeted at ANY time in retaliation for death of three US soldiers in Jordan: Pentagon hails ‘dynamic’ attack in Baghdad which had NO civilian casualties
US officials have called the drone strike that blew up a car in the Iraqi capital and killed a high-ranking commander of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia a “dynamic” attack, suggesting more could be coming.
The attack took place at 21:30 local time and killed at least one commander of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia for which the US is responsible.he attacks on an American base in Jordan last month that killed three soldiers.
There were conflicting reports on the number killed, with US officials saying the initial assessment was one, and there were no civilians injured or killed.
But two officials with Iran-backed militias in Iraq said three had died, including Wissam Muhammad Sabir Al-Saadi, known as Abu Baqir Al-Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s operations in Syria. Kataeb Hezbollah later announced his death “after the bombing of the US occupation forces” in a statement.
A US official said the New York Timeswithout naming the leader who was killed, that they had been watching the militia commander for some time, calling the execution of the strike a ‘dynamic’ hit.
Another official made it clear that the US reserves the right to target any other Shiite militia leaders going forward, suggesting that the nation’s response to the militias is far from over.
US officials have called the drone strike that blew up a car in the Iraqi capital and killed a high-ranking commander of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia a ‘dynamic’ attack, promising more could come
Two officials with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq said one of those killed was Wissam Mohammed ‘Abu Bakr’ al-Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s operations in Syria.
Witnesses reported hearing several loud explosions echo across the city as the strike took place.
U.S. Central Command confirmed that it “conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq in response to the attacks on U.S. service members, which killed a Kataib Hezbollah commander who was responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on U.S. forces in the region.’
It added that there were no signs of collateral damage or civilian casualties.
A senior US official told DailyMail.com that the strike was part of the response approved by President Joe Biden last week.
The January 28 attack killed Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders (24), Specialist Breonna Moffett (23) and Sgt. William Rivers, 46, and injured more than 40 other troops at a base inside Jordan.
A low-flying enemy drone was not detected by defenses at their base, according to the initial findings of an investigation.
The soldiers died while sleeping at the base, known as Tower 22.
‘We will strive to be worthy of their honor and bravery. We will continue their commitment to fight terrorism,’ Biden said as he pledged action last week.
Members of the civil defense gather at the site of a burned vehicle targeted by the United States
A crane lifts the wrecked car targeted to kill senior commander Abu Baqir al-Saadi
People inspect the vehicle targeted by an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq on February 7, 2024. Witnesses said at least three explosions were heard across the Iraqi capital
Two officials with Iran-backed militias said one of those killed was Wissam Mohammed ‘Abu Bakr’ al-Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s operations in Syria.
“And have no doubt – we will hold everyone accountable at a time and in a manner we choose.”
Officials made it clear that the response would take weeks to play out, with multiple strikes and less visible action.
“The first thing you see won’t be the last thing,” is how White House national security spokesman John Kirby put it.
The US blamed the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias, for the attack in Jordan. Officials said they particularly suspected Kataib Hezbollah of leading it.
As pressure mounted, the group said last Tuesday that it was suspending its military operations.
“As we announce the suspension of military and security operations against the occupying forces – to avoid embarrassing the Iraqi government – we will continue to defend our people in Gaza in other ways,” said the group’s secretary-general Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi .
The US response began last week with strikes on targets in Iraq and Syria. They were followed days later by attacks on Houthi forces in Yemen, which have plagued international shipping in the Red Sea.
“These Iranian-backed Houthi targets included several underground storage facilities, command and control, missile systems, UAV storage and operational sites, radars and helicopters,” the US Central Command said.
A US official told the New York Times, without naming the leader who was killed, that they had been watching the militia commander for some time and called the execution of the strike a “dynamic” hit
Another official made it clear that the US reserves the right to target any other Shiite militia leaders going forward, indicating that the nation’s response to the militias is far from over.
People inspect the vehicle targeted by airstrike in Baghdad
US Central Command said its forces carried out a “unilateral attack” at 9.30pm local time
U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Breonna Moffett and Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, who was killed in a drone attack on an outpost in northeastern Jordan
Members of an Iraqi Shiite militant group attend the funeral of a fighter with Kataib Hezbollah. US officials believe the group was behind a drone strike that killed three Americans
And on Wednesday night, US forces struck in the heart of Baghdad, hitting a vehicle on a main road in the Mashtal neighborhood of the city.
A crowd quickly gathered as security forces sealed off the heavily fortified Green Zone, home to many diplomatic connections, amid calls to storm the US embassy.
Iran-backed militias have taken on new significance since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, fueling a regional conflict by targeting American interests.
Yemen’s Houthis have emerged as one of the most dangerous enemies, launching missile attacks on warships as well as commercial shipping transporting to and from the Suez Canal.
Kataib Hezbollah said in a statement that it was suspending attacks on US troops to avoid ’embarrassing the Iraqi government’ after the attack in Jordan, but others vowed to fight on.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed on Sunday that a drone strike on a base housing US troops in eastern Syria killed six fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group allied with the United States. killed.
The latest upsurge in the regional conflict came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected terms proposed by Hamas for a hostage-release deal that would lead to a permanent ceasefire, vowing to continue the war until ‘absolute victory’.
Also on Wednesday, the media office of the Houthi rebels in Yemen reported two airstrikes in the Ras Issa area in the Salif district of Hodeida province.