© Reuters. People carry a placard depicting commander from Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Baqir al-Saadi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike, throughout his funeral in Baghdad, Iraq, February 8, 2024. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
By Ahmed Rasheed and Timour Azhari
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -A commander from Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed armed group in Iraq that the Pentagon has blamed for attacking its troops, was killed in a U.S. strike on Wednesday, the U.S. navy stated.
“(U.S.) forces conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq in response to the attacks on U.S. service members, killing a Kataib Hezbollah commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on U.S. forces in the region,” an announcement from the navy stated. It didn’t title the commander.
It added that there have been no indications of civilian casualties.
Two safety sources, talking on situation of anonymity, stated the commander was Abu Baqir al-Saadi, killed in a drone strike on a automobile in japanese Baghdad.
One of the sources stated three individuals had been killed and that the automobile focused was utilized by Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a state safety company composed of dozens of armed teams, a lot of them near Iran.
Kataib Hezbollah fighters and commanders are a part of the PMF. Three U.S. troops had been killed in January in a drone assault close to the Jordan-Syria border that the Pentagon stated bore the “footprints” of Kataib Hezbollah. The group then introduced it was suspending navy operations in opposition to U.S. troops in the area.
Iraq and Syria have witnessed close to every day tit-for-tat assaults between hardline Iran-backed armed teams and U.S. forces stationed in the area for the reason that Gaza conflict started in October.
The U.S. struck Iran-backed teams in Iraq and Syria final weekend in what it stated was only the start of its response to the killing of the three U.S. troopers.
In January, a U.S. drone strike killed a senior militia commander in central Baghdad, an assault Washington stated got here in response to drone and rocket assaults on its forces.
On Wednesday, Iraqi particular forces had been on excessive alert in Baghdad and additional items had been deployed contained in the Green Zone housing worldwide diplomatic missions together with the U.S. embassy, a safety supply stated.