Iraq Condemns American Airstrike Targeting Kataib Hezbollah

Iraq Condemns American Airstrike Targeting Kataib Hezbollah

Date:

What to Know:

The Iraqi Prime Ministers Office has condemned the American airstrike that targeted the headquarters of the Iran-backed Shia paramilitary group Kataib Hezbollah in Hillah, calling it a “a clear hostile act.”

The Strike:

Last night, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that American warplanes carried out airstrikes “against multiple facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in Iraq,” which was in retaliation to an explosive drone attack against the Erbil Airport that left three American servicemen wounded. Initial strike assessments by CENTCOM reported that the strikes “destroyed the targeted facilities and likely killed a number of Kataib Hezbollah militants. There are no indications that any civilian lives were affected.”

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. The group used to be part of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is considered an element of the Iraqi military, but left following the killing of Soleimani to form the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

Iraq Responds:

In a statement, the Iraqi Prime Ministers Office said that it “asserts its steadfast response to attacks on foreign diplomatic mission headquarters and sites hosting military advisors from friendly nations,” which is in reference to the attack against the Erbil Airport, adding that “Such attacks, we previously labeled as hostile acts, infringe upon Iraq’s sovereignty and are deemed unacceptable under any circumstances or justification.”

In the same statement, the office said that the United States’ retaliatory strikes against Kataib Hezbollah “resulted in the martyrdom of one service member and the injury of 18 others, including civilians” and “constitutes a clear hostile act.”

“It runs counter to the pursuit of enduring mutual interests in establishing security and stability, and it opposes the declared intention of the American side to enhance relations with Iraq,” the office added.

“We emphasize that this action undermines the bilateral relations between the two nations and will further complicate the efforts to achieve mutual understandings through collaborative dialogue aimed at concluding the presence of the international coalition. Above all, it constitutes an unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” the statement went on to conclude.

Why it Matters:

The drone attack by Kataib Hezbollah comes amid weeks of continued attacks by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella organization of Iran-backed militia and paramilitary forces, against American forces in Iraq and Syria. Last night’s attack, however, presented a major escalation as it resulted in an American soldier being critically wounded. Up until now, the strikes have only resulted in light injuries, according to the Pentagon.

The United States has carried out several retaliatory strikes since drone and rocket attacks by Iranian proxies started on October 17, which they say are in support of Hamas’ “al-Aqsa Flood” operations against Israel. Kataib Hezbollah was previously targeted by the United States on November 21 when a USAF AC-130J Ghostrider gunship killed five fighters “preparing to launch a one-way [drone] attack” near Kirkuk.

Atlas
Atlashttp://theatlasnews.co
Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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