The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) has confirmed that the UAF AC-130J Ghostrider gunship “engaged individuals responsible for launching a missile attack on U.S. and Coalition personnel at Al Assad Airbase” in Iraq last night, adding that “This strike resulted in several enemy casualties.”
“The gunship maintained visual confirmation of the individuals from the time of the launch to the time of engagement. This strike resulted in several enemy casualties,” the statement continued.
Earlier today, Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Shia militia, announced the death of a fighter from the strikes, which were carried out in the areas around Ramadi and Abu Ghraib.
Kataib Hezbollah is most notable for its involvement in the 2020 siege of the American embassy in Baghdad, which ultimately set off a chain of events that ended in the killing of IRGC General Qassam Soleimani and Iranian rocket barrage against American forces at the al-Asad Airbase.
Multiple explosions reported in Khan Dhari, Iraq. Initial reports claim an airstrike against an unknown target. pic.twitter.com/BE7CwS5Zcc
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) November 21, 2023
Meanwhile, CENTCOM also announced that US warplanes carried out “discrete, precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq” in retaliation to “the attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups, including the one in Iraq on November 21, which involved use of close-range ballistic missiles.”
This marks the first American military engagement against Iran-backed Shia militia forces since hostilities ramped up October 17. Since then, Iranian proxies have carried out dozens, and by some accounts well over 100, drone and rockets attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria.