US Strike Takes Aim at Iraqi Militia

( – Iranian proxies have attacked American service members in Iraq and Syria more than 115 times since the Sunni Islamist group Hamas launched an air, sea, and land-based military assault on Israel in October 2023. As Right Wing recently reported, military officials have raised the possibility that all-out war could overtake the entire region in the wake of that conflict. Amid those concerns, US officials recently confirmed that they targeted an Iraqi Shi’ite military group.

On January 4, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder held an on-camera press conference to brief reporters on a US-led airstrike near the headquarters of an Iranian-backed militia group located in central Baghdad, Iraq. He reported that the American forces killed Mushtaq Taleb Al-Saidi, aka Abu Taqwa, a high-ranking member of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an Iraqi state-sponsored collection of dozens of armed factions. At least three other PMF members died during the aerial attack.

Meanwhile, media outlets confirmed through unnamed sources that American troops targeted al-Saidi. Those individuals said US officials believed he was responsible for some of the recent attacks on US forces. They also explained that US forces used a drone to carry out the strike on a specific vehicle instead of any of the buildings located at the PMF’s headquarters.

As one might expect, the PMF quickly responded to the attack and resulting death of Al-Saidi. The radical militia group posted a series of statements on its website, including photos of its fallen leader’s funeral. The group also affirmed its readiness to carry out orders to protect the sovereignty and unity of Iraq, its lands, and its people.

This strike was the second time in less than a month that US forces targeted radical militia groups inside Iraq. On December 25, 2023, American military forces launched targeted strikes on three facilities used by the Iranian-backed group Kataib Hezbollah and other militia organizations sponsored by the rogue nation.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a brief statement about those strikes later that day. He stressed that America’s armed forces wouldn’t “hesitate to take the necessary action” to defend American soil, its troops, and national interests. “There is no higher priority,” he proclaimed.

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