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Strike kills five pro-Iran militants in Iraq: security sources

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Strike kills five pro-Iran militants in Iraq: security sources

Air strike came a day after Baghdad had warned Washington against ‘attacks’ on its territory, with police reporting drone debris near site

MEE and agencies

Sun, 12/03/2023 – 20:33

On 2 December, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Baghdad rejected ‘any attack on Iraqi territory’ (AFP)

An air strike in northern Iraq killed at least five pro-Iranian militants on Sunday, Iraqi security sources said, a day after Baghdad warned Washington against “attacks” on its territory.

The raid targeted a site used by an armed group affiliated with Hashed al-Shaabi, a coalition of former paramilitary forces integrated into Iraq’s regular military, a senior security official in Kirkuk province said, without saying who launched it.

A defence official in Baghdad said “a drone targeted a position of al-Nujaba group in the Dibis area” near the border of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

The strike resulted in “five dead and five wounded”, the official said.

Police reported finding “debris apparently of a drone” at the bombarded site.


On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said during a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Baghdad rejected “any attack on Iraqi territory”, according to a statement from Sudani’s office.

Sudani also said the Iraqi government was committed “to ensuring the safety of the international coalition advisers present in Iraq”, referring to American and allied troops deployed as part of an anti-jihadist coalition.

Soaring tensions

Since the 7 October attack by Hamas on Israel and Israel’s subsequent brutal assault on the Gaza Strip, tensions have soared across the region, with attacks multiplying by pro-Iranian groups targeting US forces in Iraq as well as Syria.

In Iraq, most have been claimed by “the Islamic resistance in Iraq”, a loose formation of armed groups affiliated with Hashed al-Shaabi.


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Deadly US strikes in late November targeted pro-Iranian militants in response to repeated attacks by their groups on American troops in the region. US forces have also struck Iran-linked targets in Syria.

The attacks on American soldiers largely stopped during the one-week truce in the Israel-Hamas war, but the abrupt end to the pause in fighting on Friday raised fears of regional escalation.


Washington counted at least 76 attacks on its forces in Iraq and Syria since 17 October – 10 days after the start of the Israel-Hamas war – according to an updated tally given by a US military official.

The attacks included rocket fire and drone strikes, and have left at least 60 US personnel wounded, the Pentagon says.

Strike kills five pro-Iran militants in Iraq: security sources

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