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Updated December 26th, 2023 at 18:24 IST

US strikes back: Swift response to Iran-backed forces in Iraq

After an earlier attack that left three American personnel injured, the US forces conducted strikes on three sites utilized by Iran-backed forces in Iraq.

Digital Desk
Angry Biden
After an earlier attack that left three American personnel injured, the US forces conducted strikes on three sites utilized by Iran-backed forces in Iraq. | Image:AP
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After an earlier attack that left three American personnel injured, the US forces conducted strikes on three sites utilized by Iran-backed forces in Iraq. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin characterized the strikes as "necessary" and "proportionate."

US targets Iran-backed forces in Iraq

"At @POTUS' direction, US military forces executed necessary and proportionate strikes on three facilities utilized by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in Iraq. These precision strikes responded to a series of attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-sponsored militias. This includes an assault by the Iran-affiliated Kataib Hezbollah and associated groups on Erbil Air Base earlier today," stated Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a statement posted on X.

In today's attack, three US personnel were wounded, with one of them in critical condition, according to the statement. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his prayers for the injured Americans and emphasized that President Biden "did not hesitate to take necessary action to defend the US." Austin clarified that both he and the President were prepared to take additional necessary measures to safeguard the United States, its troops, and its interests. The statement underscored that while they did not seek to escalate conflict in the region, they remained committed to protecting their people and facilities.

Kataib Hezbollah, founded in 2007 with the support of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was declared a 'Foreign Terrorist Organisation' by the US in 2009. The Secretary-General, Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, was sanctioned for involvement in violence against US-led coalition forces in Iraq. The attacks on US troops in Iraq increased amid the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, triggered by an attack on Israeli cities, resulting in over 1,100 deaths, mostly civilians. Israel's retaliation in Gaza reportedly caused over 20,000 casualties, according to the Hamas-run territory's administration.

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Published December 26th, 2023 at 18:24 IST

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