Friday, March 1, 2024

Drone assault on Iraq navy base wounds 3 U.S. service members, Pentagon says

A drone assault by an Iran-affiliated terrorist group on a navy base in Iraq early Monday morning left three U.S. service members wounded, the Pentagon stated, and prompted President Biden to order retaliatory strikes.  

The assault on the Erbil Air Base in northern Iraq was performed by Kataib Hezbollah militants, Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin stated in an announcement. One of many three service members wounded is in crucial situation, Austin disclosed.

In response, Mr. Biden — after being briefed and holding a name with Austin and his nationwide safety group — ordered retaliatory strikes on “three places utilized by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated teams centered particularly on unmanned aerial drone actions,” Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated in an announcement.

In accordance with U.S. Central Command, the retaliatory strikes on the three websites, all situated in Iraq, have been performed at 8:45 p.m. Japanese time and “probably killed plenty of Kataib Hezbollah militants.” 

No civilians have been believed to have been wounded or killed, CENTCOM stated. 

There have been dozens of assaults by Iranian-backed militias concentrating on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria for the reason that violent Oct. 7 terrorist assault on Israel by Hamas — a gaggle that U.S. officers have lengthy stated receives monetary and materials assist from Iran.  

And in response, U.S. forces have performed a number of rounds of strikes on what protection officers say are Iran-linked weapons amenities and Iran-backed fighters

On Nov. 20, a number of U.S. service members have been injured in a ballistic missile assault by Iran-back militias on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, the Pentagon stated. In related style to Monday’s retaliation, the U.S. instantly launched strikes on militia-linked amenities and personnel. 

Syria U.S. soldiers
U.S. troopers patrol an space on the outskirts of Rumaylan in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled northeastern Hasakeh province on Dec. 11, 2023.

DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP through Getty Photos


This additionally comes as Iranian-linked Houthi rebels in Yemen have additionally been conducting quite a few assaults on industrial vessels within the Purple Sea. Final week, the White Home accused Iran of being “deeply concerned” in these Purple Sea assaults, an allegation Tehran denied

In a Nov. 15 interview with CBS Information, Iranian Overseas Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian denied that Iran was accountable for a drone fired from Yemen that was shot down by the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner. The drone gave the impression to be concentrating on the Hudner, U.S. officers stated on the time.

“We actually did not need this disaster to increase,” Amir-Abdollahian instructed CBS Information, referencing the Israel-Hamas battle. “However the U.S. has been intensifying the battle in Gaza by throwing its assist behind Israel. Yemen makes its personal selections and acts independently.” 

Final week, vitality large BP introduced it was quickly suspending all fuel and oil shipments within the Purple Sea due to the assaults. 

David Martin, Eleanor Watson, S. Dev, Arden Farhi and Olivia Gazis contributed to this report. 

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