Baghdad, Iraq – A senior commander of an Iran-backed militia has been killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad, raising tensions in the region. The leader of Kataib Hezbollah and two of his guards were targeted in the east of the Iraqi capital, all three of them dying in the attack. The Pentagon stated that the commander was responsible for directing attacks on American forces in the region, linking the militia to a recent drone attack in Jordan that killed three US troops.
The strike has led to heightened security measures in the city, with crowds of protesters gathering and chanting anti-American slogans. This incident comes on the heels of a series of retaliatory strikes by the US in Syria and Iraq following a previous drone attack on US troops. President Joe Biden has described these strikes as just the beginning of the US response, indicating a potential escalation in the region.
The raid in Baghdad represents a significant development in the US response, as previous strikes had only targeted the Iraq-Syria border area. The decision to also target senior leaders of armed groups could signal a shift in the American strategy. Following the attack, militias in the country have called for retaliation against the US, prompting concerns of further escalation in the region.
The US has some 2,500 troops in Iraq and 900 in neighboring Syria as part of a mission to combat the Islamic State terror group. However, the recent drone strike and the ensuing calls for retaliation have raised fears of increased hostilities and instability in the region. The situation remains tense as both the US and Iran-backed militias in Iraq weigh their next moves in the aftermath of the drone strike.
As tensions continue to rise, the international community is closely monitoring the situation, with concerns over the potential for further destabilization in the already volatile region. The implications of this strike and its aftermath could have far-reaching consequences for the Middle East.