Feb 7, 2024 - World

U.S. drone strike kills Iran-backed militia commander in Baghdad

A vehicle that was hit by a drone strike on Feb. 7 in Baghdad. Photo: Ameer Al-Mohammedawi/picture alliance via Getty Images

A vehicle that was hit by a drone strike in Baghdad on Feb. 7. Photo: Ameer Al-Mohammedawi/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Pentagon on Wednesday said that a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed a commander of the Iran-backed militia group responsible for attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East.

The big picture: The strike, which U.S. Central Command said killed a commander of the Kata'ib Hezbollah group, came just days after President Biden warned that the U.S. would continue to retaliate for the deadly attack on U.S. forces in Jordan late last month.

  • The U.S. has blamed the attack in Jordan, which killed three American soldiers, on the Islamic Resistance, an umbrella framework for several pro-Iranian militia groups. U.S. officials have named Kata'ib Hezbollah as being involved in the attack.
  • The U.S. last Friday hit 85 targets linked to Iran or Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq as the beginning of its response to the attack in Jordan, U.S. officials said.

Details: The commander killed on Wednesday was identified as Wissam Mohammed "Abu Bakr" al-Saadi, a high-ranking official of Kata'ib Hezbollah.

  • Two other militants were also killed.

What they're saying: "The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect our people," CENTCOM said in a statement.

  • "We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces' safety.

Zoom out: There have been more than 160 attacks by Iranian-linked militia groups targeting U.S. bases and forces in the Middle East since Oct. 7, according to the Pentagon.

  • The attack in Jordan was the first such attack to kill American soldiers.
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