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U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Groups in Iraq After Attack on Base Injures 3 Americans

Politics|U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Groups in Iraq After Attack on Base Injures 3 Americans

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The strikes followed an attack hours previously by members of Kataib Hezbollah and associated groups on Erbil air base in Iraq that hurt 3 U.S. service members, authorities stated, one seriously.

“My prayers are with the brave Americans who were hurt,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III stated in a statement.Credit … Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse– Getty Images

Released Dec. 25, 2023Updated Dec. 26, 2023, 12:03 a.m. ET

The United States performed a brand-new round of airstrikes early on Tuesday in Iraq, probably killing militants and damaging 3 centers utilized by Iranian proxies that had actually been targeting American and union soldiers, U.S. authorities stated.

The American strikes remained in retaliation for a series of attacks, consisting of a drone attack hours previously by members of Kataib Hezbollah and associated groups on Erbil air base in Iraq, according to Adrienne Watson, a National Security Council spokesperson. The drone attack hurt 3 American service members, among them seriously, she stated.

“My prayers are with the brave Americans who were hurt,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III stated in a declaration.

The most recent strikes targeted centers utilized by Kataib Hezbollah, a militia group in Iraq that is thought about a proxy of Iran. The United States blames Iran and the militias lined up with it for what has actually ended up being a near-daily barrage of rocket and drone attacks versus U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. The Biden administration has actually looked for to adjust vindictive airstrikes to eventually discourage such groups while preventing a larger war.

After Mr. Biden was notified of the Erbil attack on Christmas early morning, he bought the Defense Department to prepare reaction choices, White House authorities stated. Later on in the day, the president licensed strikes that were performed around 8:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Mr. Biden picked Kataib Hezbollah and associated centers that had actually been utilized to introduce unmanned aerial drone attacks, authorities stated.

Last month, the United States struck an operations center and a command-and-control node south of Baghdad utilized by Kataib Hezbollah. The group’s political wing belongs to the union of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq.

Considering that the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, Iranian-backed groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen have actually released a variety of attacks on American soldiers and bases and on business ships transiting the Red Sea. The Biden administration has actually struck back versus the militants in Iraq and Syria, however has actually up until now prevented striking the Houthi militants in Yemen who have actually targeted traffic in the Red Sea.

In a declaration, U.S. Central Command stated that early evaluations showed that the most recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq ruined the targeted centers and more than likely eliminated a variety of militants. The declaration stated that there were no indicators of civilian casualties.

“These strikes are planned to hold responsible those components straight accountable for attacks on union forces in Iraq and Syria and deteriorate their capability to continue attacks,” Gen.

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