U.S. Airstrikes In Iraq And Syria Target Iranian-Backed Militia Group
By Bill Galluccio
December 30, 2019
U.S. forces carried out a series of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, targeting five facilities controlled by Kataib Hezbollah. The strikes against the Iranian-backed militia left at least 25 people dead and 51 people injured. The Pentagon said the "precision defensive strikes" were in response to a series of attacks launched against U.S. forces by the group. The attacks were carried out by F-15 Strike Eagle fighter planes.
"We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
The airstrikes escalated tensions between the United States and Iran. Iranian officials blasted the attacks and promised there would be "consequences" as a result of the bombings. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mosavi said that the United States has "openly shown its support to terrorism and shown its negligence to the independence and national sovereignty of countries."
The strikes also struck a nerve with Iraqi officials, who were informed of the impending attacks about thirty minutes beforehand.
"We have already confirmed our rejection of any unilateral action by coalition forces or any other forces inside Iraq. We consider it a violation of Iraq's sovereignty and a dangerous escalation that threatens the security of Iraq and the region," Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the Iraqi prime minister, said.
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