News Region & Country Iraq

US airstrike hits Baghdad for second time this year

The U.S. strike was in response to an a January drone attack on the Tower 22 base in Jordan that killed three U.S. soldiers.
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BAGHDAD, IRAQ - FEBRUARY 07: A crane lifts the wrecked car which has been targeted to kill the Senior commander Abu Baqir al-Saadi of Popular Mobilization Forces (Al-Hashd al-Shaabi) at eastern area of Al-Mashtal in Baghdad, Iraq on February 07, 2024. (Photo by Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu via Getty Images)

A  U.S. drone strike killed a senior leader of an Iranian-backed militant group Wednesday.. The strike killed Abu Baqir al-Saadi, the commander of the Kataib Hezbollah militia. It was the second time in a little more than a month that a U.S. airstrike targeted a vehicle in Baghdad.

Officials with U.S. Central Command said the strike was in response to a Jan. 28 drone attack on the Tower 22 base in Jordan that killed three U.S. soldiers. Tower 22 is located near the border with Syria and has nearly 350 American troops from the Army and Air Force currently deployed there. 

Central Command said there were no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties.

The U.S. hit 85 targets at seven sites in Iraq and Syria in its initial response to the Jordan attack.

The last time the U.S. struck a target in Baghdad, Iraqi officials reacted with anger and condemned the strike. That January 4 attack killed Mushtaq Jawad Kazim al-Jawari, leader of Harakat-al-Nujaba militia, an Iranian proxy group. The country’s foreign affairs ministry called it an “assault on a security formation connected to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.”

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The Al-Nujaba Movement, issued a statement late Wednesday saying that the U.S. is violating Iraqi sovereignty and called on Iraqi people and other militias to fight against American forces.

“Those attacks in Jordan were carried out by the umbrella group, Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a group that is supported by Kataib Hezbollah. Kataib Hezbollah is one of the participants. And that was the intelligence community’s best assessment,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters last Friday.

The two Army Reserve soldiers killed at Tower 22 were posthumously promoted to sergeant and Sgt. William Rivers was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant. The soldiers who were killed were assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, based out of Fort Moore, Georgia.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon said there have been 146 casualties in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan since Oct. 18. Of those 146 casualties, three were killed in action, two sustained very serious injuries, nine had serious injuries, and 132 had non-serious injuries.

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