US conducts retaliatory strikes on Iranian-backed sites in Iraq

13 March 2020 (Last Updated March 16th, 2020 14:33)

The US has conducted airstrikes against Iran-backed Shia militia group’s (SMG) Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) facilities in Iraq.

US conducts retaliatory strikes on Iranian-backed sites in Iraq
Soldiers travel to a range at Camp Taji, Iraq, 7 February, 2020. Credit: Army Capt Richard Wharton.

The US has conducted airstrikes against Iran-backed Shia militia group’s (SMG) Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) facilities in Iraq.

The defensive precision strikes were targeted at five weapon storage facilities.

According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), the facilities also include those that stored weapon systems used to target US and coalition personnel.

These airstrikes were carried out in retaliation to an Iran-backed SMG attack against Camp Taji, which killed two US service members and one UK soldier while leaving 14 others injured.

US Secretary of Defense Dr Mark T Esper said: “The US will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies.

“As we have demonstrated in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman army general Mark Milley noted that the Camp Taji attack saw the SMG launch approximately 30 107mm rockets against the Iraqi training base.

The area housing coalition forces were hit by up to 18 rockets.

Following the attack, the Iraqi security forces were able to capture a modified truck with rocket tubes used for the attack.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The response to the cowardly attack on coalition forces in Iraq has been swift, decisive and proportionate.

“We will continue working with our partners to ensure those responsible for these deplorable acts will be held to account. UK forces are in Iraq with coalition partners to help the country counter terrorist activity and anyone seeking to harm them can expect a strong response.”