US Takes Out Iran-Backed Militants in Iraq Amid Ongoing Attacks

At least one militant from the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq was killed in a US airstrike after it had conducted a ballistic missile attack against the Ain al-Assad base in Iraq, where US forces are hosted, according to US CENTCOM and Iraqi media. CENTCOM reported on Tuesday that an AC-130 gunship targeted militants responsible for a missile attack against al-Asad Air Base. The strike resulted in several casualties, according to CENTCOM. Kataib Hezbollah announced that an operative in the Iran-backed militia named Fadel al-Maksusi had been killed in the US strike. Iran-backed militias claimed they had conducted rocket and drone attacks against bases hosting US forces in the region on Tuesday, including Ain al-Assad and a base in al-Shaddadi in Syria. Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters that the ballistic missile attack on Ain al-Assad caused several non-serious injuries and some minor damage to infrastructure. “A US military AC-130 aircraft in the area conducted a self-defense strike against an Iranian-backed militia vehicle and personnel involved in this attack. This self-defense strike resulted in some hostile fatalities,” said Singh. The Pentagon spokesperson added that US forces have been attacked about 66 times in Iraq and Syria since October 17, with at least 62 US personnel injured. Iraqi security forces opened fire on a drone above Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Tuesday, police and the army said. It was not clear if the drone was armed, but one Iraqi military officer said the initial assessment suggests the drone was on a surveillance mission. The drone flew away amid the heavy gunfire.