Late Wednesday, American forces carried out a drone attack in Iraq that killed three members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, a group backed by Iran, one of whom was involved in the drone strike that killed three U.S. soldiers in January.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said forces conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq around 9:30 p.m. in response to a drone strike that killed three U.S. troops in Jordan on Jan. 28.
The strike, which occurred on a main thoroughfare in Baghdad’s Mashtal neighborhood, was considered a “high-value individual target,” Fox News is told.
One of those killed is believed to be Wissam Mohammed “Abu Bakr” al-Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, according to Reuters.
CENTCOM said there are no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties at this time.
See Related: US and UK Forces Strike Back Against Houthis in Yemen After Attacks on Tankers
First Video From US Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria Released As CENTCOM Confirms Attacks
Iran has backed fundamentalist Islamic militias throughout the region in recent years, including the Houthi rebels that are attempting to close the Red Sea to shipping, as well as militias opposed to U.S. involvement in the area, plus those opposing Israel.
Kataib Hezbollah had said in a statement that it was suspending attacks on American troops to avoid “embarrassing the Iraqi government” after the strike in Jordan, but others have vowed to continue fighting.
Another report mentions videos purporting to be from the scene, showing a wrecked vehicle and a structure fire.
Videos from the scene showed the wreckage of a vehicle in a neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, and a nearby fire.
A senior Kata’ib Hezbollah official and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps both said that two commanders had been killed in the strike. Witnesses said identification cards found nearby identified them as Arkan al-Elayawi and Abu Bakir al-Saadi.
In response, crowds gathered in streets of Baghdad, chanting “America is the devil.”
The Pentagon has confirmed this strike, as well as providing details as to other targets being serviced in the area.
Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Pentagon spokesman, said that “more than 80” of some 85 targets in Syria and Iraq were destroyed or rendered inoperable. The targets, he said, included command hubs; intelligence centers; depots for rockets, missiles and attack drones; as well as logistics and ammunition bunkers.
Erasing terrorists is always worth doing, it’s something that the U.S. military is still good at, and it is a policy that should be vigorously pursued, pour encourager les autres, especially in cases like this where the whereabouts of a terrorist militia leader can be ascertained. This particular group, Kaya’ib Hezbollah, is a known Iranian proxy, which means that targeting the leaders of that group sends a clear message not only to the members of this terrorist militia but also to Tehran.
This is a breaking story. RedState will bring you more details as events unfold.