US Confirms Killing of Iran-Backed Militia Commander in Baghdad

  • US conducts airstrike in Baghdad targeting senior leader of Iranian-backed militia responsible for attacks on US forces in the Middle East
  • Airstrike part of President Biden’s retaliatory actions following deadly attack on US soldiers in Jordan
  • US Central Command confirms successful strike, emphasizes commitment to protecting its forces and holding threats accountable

Additional Coverage:

The United States conducted an airstrike on Wednesday in Baghdad, targeting a senior leader of an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq. This militia was held responsible for carrying out attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East. The airstrike was part of the retaliatory actions authorized by President Joe Biden in response to the deadly attack on January 28th that took place on the Tower 22 base in Jordan, resulting in the deaths of three American soldiers.

According to U.S. Central Command, the airstrike was carried out at 9:30 p.m. on February 7th, and it successfully killed a commander from the Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah. This particular individual was directly involved in planning and participating in attacks against U.S. forces in the region. The statement released by U.S. Central Command emphasized that there were no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties during this operation. It further affirmed the United States’ commitment to taking necessary actions to protect its people and holding accountable those who pose a threat to the safety of U.S. forces.

Prior to the confirmation from U.S. Central Command, two U.S. officials had already disclosed to ABC News that an airstrike targeting a high-value target had been carried out in Baghdad. Additionally, the national security adviser of the White House, Jake Sullivan, had stated on ABC’s “This Week” that the U.S. would be responding further to the drone attack on Tower 22, which resulted in the deaths of three American service members and numerous injuries. Sullivan indicated that some of these responses would be visible, while others would remain undisclosed.

Kataib Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Shiite militia operating in Iraq. The U.S. has accused this group of being responsible for the majority of the 168 attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. Initially, this militia and several other Shiite groups joined forces with the Iraqi government to combat the Islamic State group. Eventually, they became integrated into Iraq’s military structure as Popular Mobilization Forces.

The organization confirmed the death of Abu Baqir Al-Saadi, a senior leader of Kataib Hezbollah, along with two others who were accompanying him in Baghdad. The Iraqi military responded to an incident in the Al-Mashal area east of Baghdad, where a civilian vehicle was targeted, resulting in the deaths of all individuals inside. An investigation is currently underway to determine the method and source of this targeting.

In anticipation of possible retaliation against U.S. facilities in Iraq, Iraqi security sources informed ABC News that all entrances to the Green Zone, a secure area in the center of Baghdad housing important Iraqi government buildings and the U.S. embassy, were being closed. Iraq is taking these precautions to ensure the safety and security of its facilities.

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