US Bombs Iraq And Syria Over Death Of American Military Contractor

US Bombs Iraq And Syria Over Death Of American Military Contractor

The U.S. flexed its military muscles as they bombed 5
facilities in Iraq and Syria on Sunday. This was in retaliation to the rocket attack which killed a U.S. defense contractor and wounded four US soldiers at the K1 Iraqi military base in Kirkuk, located in the northern part of the country.
The US blamed Kata'ib Hezbollah for the more than 30 rockets that were fired on Friday. The Kata'ib Hezbollah also known as Hezbollah Brigades is an Iraqi Shia paramilitary group that is supported by Iran.The group is commanded by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. All members of Kata'ib Hezbollah swear an oath of loyalty to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman viewed the strikes against the group as "precision defensive strikes" that "will degrade" the group's future attacks against coalition forces.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Senator of Arkansas tweeted, "Today's strikes against Iranian-backed groups in Iraq and Syria are a justified response to the killing of an American and the wounding of several American service members and Iraqis. Tehran must stop attacking Americans or else face even graver consequences."

Around 19 fighters were killed during the US reprisal attack. Hours after the US strikes, it was reported that four rockets exploded near a base housing US troops close to the capital Baghdad without wounding anyone.

In response to the American attacks, Kata'ib Hezbollah called for the expelling of the "American enemy" from Iraq.
It emphasized that, "The military, security forces as well as popular and patriotic powers have to expel the American enemy."
The militia outfit, Assaib Ahl al-Haq which has been prescribed by the US, also called for the American forces to withdraw from Iraq.

Assaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous"), also known as the Khazali Network, is an Iraqi Shi'a paramilitary group active in the Iraqi insurgency and Syrian Civil War.
"The American military presence has become a burden for the Iraqi state and a source of threat against our forces," Assaib Ahl al-Haq said in a statement. "It is therefore imperative for all of us to do everything to expel them by all legitimate means."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after briefing President Trump, "We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy."

Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated in 2018 after Trump pulled the United States out of Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal and slapped Iran with more sanctions.

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