The United States launched a new round of airstrikes in Iraq early Wednesday, the second in about a day, targeting facilities used by Iranian proxies to target U.S. and coalition forces, U.S. defense officials said.
The latest round of tit-for-tat attacks between U.S. and Iran-backed militants has occurred in Iraq, a departure from the U.S. approach that has primarily targeted targets in Syria.
This time, the United States struck facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi militia group considered an Iraqi proxy. Kataeb Hezbollah’s political wing is part of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani’s alliance.
The attacks come amid a recent escalation of attacks by the Biden administration. Less than 24 hours earlier, a U.S. military helicopter gunship opened fire on three Iran-backed militants on Monday night, who the Pentagon said on Tuesday were part of an attack targeting U.S. and coalition forces. The exchange came in the spur of the moment after a U.S. warplane in the region witnessed a ballistic missile attack on Al-Assad Air Base and retaliated, and Wednesday morning’s attack was planned, at least for several hours.
A Pentagon spokesman said that in an earlier attack, militants fired missiles at Al-Asad Air Base, one of the last remaining bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed, before moving to their vehicles. The helicopter gunship, an AC-130, spotted them airborne, she said.
“The militants were targeted because of the AC-130’s ability to identify launch points. We have an aircraft that is able to identify the launch site of ballistic missiles at close range,” spokesperson Sabrina Singh said Tuesday. , so we can take action.”
Last week, the United States also went on strike. in eastern syria Target facilities used by Iran and its proxies. U.S. airstrikes last week killed at least six people and possibly seven, officials said. The Biden administration has previously carried out airstrikes that officials said were aimed at deterring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the militias it supports in Iran. Syria and Iraq, but U.S. officials have said they had caused no known casualties before last week.
Government accuses Iran and allied militias axis of resistanceU.S. troops in Iraq and Syria are under daily rocket and drone attacks.
The latest strike occurred nearly two weeks later US warplanes attack an arms depot in eastern Syria and then several buildings in the area The Pentagon said the facilities were used for training, logistics and storage of attacks, as well as being used as safe houses for command headquarters.An early series of retaliatory attacks by the U.S. Came on October 27th.
Until last week, President Biden had rejected more aggressive bombing options proposed by the Pentagon for fear of triggering a broader conflict with Iran. But Monday’s attack by the United States was the second to cause casualties. U.S. officials say Iran has launched 66 attacks since October 17 in support of U.S. troops and base-based militias.