In response to the deadly rockets against a Coalition base in Iraq, the U.S. military conducted targeted strikes against an Iranian-backed militia believed to be behind the attack.
According to the Department of Defense (DoD), the airstrikes targeted five weapon storage facilities of the Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), a Shia paramilitary terror group. KH is believed to be behind the rocket attack that killed two American and one British warfighter and wounded 14 more.
The U.S. Killed in Action were Air Force Staff Sergeant Marshal D. Roberts and U.S. Army Specialist Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias. The British KIA is Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon.
The destroyed KH facilities contained weapons that were used to attack Coalition troops in Iraq. The question, however, is why those facilities hadn’t been destroyed previously as this isn’t the first time KH attacks U.S. and Coalition targets. Indeed, it was another KH rocket attack in late December that precipitated the U.S.-Iran crisis at the beginning of the year. Then, the KH attack had killed an American civilian contractor and wounded several warfighters. A valid explanation is the delicate power play within Iraq. Iraqi politics have been quite tumultuous since last fall. And Iran’s influence in Baghdad is significant.