Airstrikes ‘Destroy’ Iran-Linked Militia Bases In Iraq After Drone Strike Injures Three U.S. Soldiersthedigitalchaps



The U.S. launched a retaliatory strike against Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah, the White House said on Monday—just hours after a drone launched by the Iranian-aligned group injured three American service members.

Key Facts

President Joe Biden ordered the airstrike on Monday afternoon after a call with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and they hit the militia bases around 8:45 p.m. Eastern, according to the White House and the military’s Central Command.

The strikes were directed at three locations the White House said Kataib Hezbollah and other armed groups were using for “unmanned aerial drone activities.”

Central Command said the strikes destroyed the drone facilities and killed Kataib Hezbollah fighters, with “no indications” of civilian casualties.

The strikes were ordered hours after a one-way unmanned drone struck a U.S. air base in Erbil, injuring three Americans, one critically, according to the White House.

The White House and Defense Department have not identified the injured soldiers or provided an update on their conditions.

Key Background

Kataib Hezbollah is an Iraqi Shia militia linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. It was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in 2009. However, the relatively small group has increased its attacks on American targets after the outbreak of fighting between Israel and Hamas in October. Since Hamas—which is also aligned with Iran—attacked southern Israel on October 7, prompting a large Israeli invasion of Gaza, U.S. military positions in Iraq and Syria have been targeted about 100 times, Reuters reported. The group is also reportedly responsible for the kidnapping of Elizabeth Tsurkov, a Russian-Israeli doctoral student from Princeton University in July 2023. Austin said Monday’s strikes were a response to “a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-sponsored militias.” The Defense Department has not confirmed how many U.S. troops remain in Iraq, but in July said they were a small contingent of “just a handful of troops performing advise-and-assist missions only.”

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESPrinceton Student Kidnapped In One Of World’s Most Dangerous CountriesMORE FROM FORBESIraqi Kurdistan May Finally Acquire Air Defenses After Years Of Unprovoked Missile And Drone AttacksMORE FROM FORBESExplosions And Rocket Strikes Reported Near U.S. Embassy In Iraq’s Green Zone