Sunday night, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Iraq and Syria, hitting Iranian-backed bases which killed 25 people. A top Iraq military leader said there would be a strong response and action taken against the U.S. forces stationed in Iraq due to the surprise attacks.
The target bases were part of the Kataib Hezbollah militia group. They were in response to the group killing a U.S. civilian contractor when they set off a rocket attack at an Iraq military base.
Iraq’s militia and security sources stated there were approximately 25 of the militia fighters killed with 55 wounded. Senior commander Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, put out this statement Sunday evening following the attack, “The blood of the martyrs will not be in vain, and our response will be very tough on the American forces in Iraq.”
Mohandes is the senior commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and is a powerful ally to Iraq. He not only founded but led Kataib Hezbollah.
As of Monday morning, U.S.-led coalition jets were still circling the military bases in Qayarah and Mosul. The Security sources in Iraq also stated the U.S. forces in the northern part of Nineveh were beefing up their security overnight after the attacks in preparation for Iraq’s possible retaliation. Iraq is torn between its two most prominent allies, Iran and Washington, and tension is now flaring between all three.
Earlier in December, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put the blame on Iranian-backed forces, which conducted a series of attacks in Iraq and stated, “Any attacks by Tehran or proxies harming Americans or allies would be answered with a decisive U.S. response.”
Iran has also responded through its government spokesman Ali Rabiei. Rabiei stated, “We strongly deny any role in the attack on American forces. This claim, without any evidence, cannot justify bombing and killing people in violation of international law.” Iran’s foreign ministry requested the U.S. “respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Thousands of protestors are taking to the streets of Iraq to condemn militias like Kataib Hezbollah and those who back Iran in their evil plots. The people see the poverty led by the political system in Iraq, and they want it to come to an end.
So far, there have been over 450 people killed in the protest as security forces continue to fight off the protesters. Iraq’s security forces have teamed up with the PMF and reclaimed the third part of Iraq from IS. Together, they have secured their victory against the militants in the area. After the victory, the PMF was formally part of the security structure of Iraq and carried a considerable part of political influence.
The Iraqi government has not responded to the airstrikes, but Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who stepped down in November, stayed in office as a caretaker to the policies. Iraq’s Faith Alliance, which consists of mostly militia leaders, said the airstrikes were “an attack on Iraq’s sovereignty.”
They stated, “The insolent attack by American forces on security forces which targeted the 45th and 46th brigades of the Popular Moralization Forces in the Qaim area is an attack on national sovereignty and on Iraq’s dignity.”
Lebanon, which is also backed by Iran, also has a robust Shi’ite group Hezbollah. They also called the attack “a blatant attack on Iraqi sovereignty, security, and stability.”
Iran had opened up a can of worms when they decided to go against the world in its nuclear venture to defy authority and put fear across the globe. They are a weak country with the sanctions placed on them by the Trump administration, and their economy is crumbling.
Hezbollah has wreaked havoc across the world as one of the worst terrorist groups known to civilization. Their terror strikes date back as far as the eighties and has been limited to the Middle Eastern countries over the past few decades.
The U.S. had every right to bomb the bases in Iraq due to Iranian backed groups that support Iran’s stance on promoting their evil acts. However, they neglect to realize, the United States of America has the strongest military in the world and will crush whoever stands with terrorism.
People who hold high power in other countries need to be reminded when these situations occur. America is a force not to be messed with, and those who continue to defy authority and spread terrorism will fall before her knees. This is only the beginning.