US strikes Iran-backed militia in Iraq

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin

© APA | US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin

# 24 January 2024 10:39 (UTC +04:00)

The US says its forces have carried out strikes in Iraq on three facilities used by Iran-backed militia, APA reports citing BBC.

The "proportionate" strikes targeted "Kataib Hezbollah militia group and other Iran-affiliated groups", Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

He said the precision strikes were "in direct response" to attacks against US and coalition allies in Iraq and Syria.

A number of US military personnel were injured in a missile attack on an airbase in western Iraq last week.

Officials said they were "undergoing evaluation for traumatic brain injuries".

The US military's Central Command (CentCom) said at the time that an Iran-backed militia targeted the Al Asad airbase, which hosts American troops, with ballistic missiles and rockets.

A group calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for that attack.

According to the US-based Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the group emerged in late 2023 and is comprised of several Iran-affiliated armed groups operating in Iraq. It has claimed other attacks against US forces in recent weeks.

In a statement, Mr Austin praised the "professionalism" of US military personnel in planning and conducting the latest strikes in Iraq as part of efforts "to further dismantle and degrade ISIS [the Islamic State group]."

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