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U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Aimed at ‘Iranian-Backed Militia’

Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed yesterday a U.S. airstrike in Iraq early yesterday, following an attempted missile attack by “Iran-backed” militias on the Al Asad Air Base. The attack “resulted in several non-serious injuries and some minor damage to infrastructure,” she said. “Immediately following the attack, a U.S. military AC-130 aircraft in the area conducted a self-defense strike against an Iranian-backed militia vehicle and a number of Iranian-backed militia personnel involved in this attack. This self-defense strike resulted in some hostile fatalities.” The AC-130 was already overhead (perhaps on a planned patrol) at the time of the attack and so was able to identify the location from where the attack originated and respond immediately.

This morning, U.S. Central Command announced followup airstrikes in response to yesterday’s attack on Al Asad. “On the morning of Nov. 22 in Iraq, U.S. Central Command forces conducted discrete, precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq,” it tweeted on X. “The strikes were in direct response to the attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups, including the one in Iraq on Nov. 21, which involved use of close-range ballistic missiles.”

This morning, the Iraqi Presidency condemned the U.S. strikes as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. “While government authorities, along with political and social forces, are committed to enhancing achieved security, stability, and ensuring the safety of citizens, this escalation is unacceptable and a breach of Iraqi sovereignty. It could potentially disrupt the country’s security and stability.”

The Hezbollah Brigades, one of the Iraqi armed resistance factions, vowed to retaliate in response to the U.S. strikes. In a statement obtained by Shafaq News agency, it emphasized that “the American bombing of the PMF’s headquarters at dawn today, which resulted in eight martyrs, will not pass without punishment. This necessitates an expansion of targets if the enemy persists in its criminal approach.”