Airstrike Takes Life of Iran-Backed Militia Leader

Iran-Backed Militia Leader Killed in Strike

( – While some terrorist organizations don’t have the same power they used to, they still very much pose a threat to the United States. The recent tensions in the Middle East over the Israel-Hamas war have sparked a wave of attacks on US troops in the region. The US has retaliated, taking out an Iran-backed militia leader.

On January 4, the US carried out an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, targeting a vehicle carrying Mushtaq Taleb al-Saidi. Al-Saidi was a high-level Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba commander who intelligence forces believe was “actively involved in planning and carrying out attacks against American personnel,” according to Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder. Ryder also said the US maintains that it will “take necessary action to protect [its] personnel,” according to The New York Post.

The Popular Mobilization Force, a coalition of Iran-backed militias located in Iraq and under the country’s military control, confirmed his death in a statement and said it was the “result of brutal American aggression.” Al-Saidi held a senior role in the force, as well. One of his associates is also said to have died in the attack, and several others were wounded. Iraqi military spokesman Yehia Rasool claimed it was an “unprovoked attack on an Iraqi security body” that was acting within its powers.

This incident was the second US-ordered strike against Iranian-backed targets located in Iraq in as many weeks. President Joe Biden ordered the first one on Christmas Day after US troops came under attack with three wounded, one critically. Coalition forces remain in Iraq to combat terrorism, though it has taken on more of a training and advisory role. Iraqi officials are pushing to get the troops out.

The action is just the latest in a series of more than 100 attacks on American troops in the country at the hands of militias, perpetrated because of the US support of Israel in the Israeli-Hamas conflict. It has fed into concerns that the war might bleed over and spread throughout the Middle East.

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