Mar 12, 2020 - World

U.S. launches retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq

In this image, Mark Esper stands in front of an American flag

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on March 5 in Arlington, Virginia. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. targeted five Kataib Hezbollah (KH) weapon storage facilities in Iraq on Thursday, following Wednesday's lethal attack on U.S. service members, the Department of Defense said.

Driving the news: Two U.S. service members and one member of the anti-ISIS coalition were killed in a rocket attack in Iraq on Wednesday. Similar rocket attacks in the past have been attributed to KH.

  • The weapons storage facilities targeted on Thursday housed arms that were used to target U.S. and coalition troops, the Pentagon said.
  • The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

What they're saying:

"These strikes were defensive, proportional, and in direct response to the threat posed by Iranian-backed Shia militia groups (SMG) who continue to attack bases hosting OIR coalition forces.
Yesterday’s attack on Camp Taji killed two U.S. and one U.K. service members and wounded 14 others. It marked the latest in a series of rocket attacks conducted by Iranian-backed SMGs against U.S. and coalition personnel – killing five and wounding dozens more, including Iraqi Security Forces."
— the Pentagon's release reads

Go deeper: 2 U.S. service members killed by rocket attack in Iraq

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

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