US kills Iraqi militia leader in drone strike on Baghdad

Saturday, January 6, 2024
 – The U.S. military has confirmed a drone strike in Baghdad killed an Iraqi militia leader blamed for attacks against American forces in the country, according to a senior U.S. official.

It comes as growing regional tensions from the conflict in Gaza threaten to spread across borders, igniting a regional war in the Middle East.

The Popular Mobilisation Force (PMF) said its deputy head of operations in Baghdad Mushtaq Taleb al-Saidi was killed in the strike.

The group is linked to Iraq's armed forces, but the government in Baghdad has only limited control over its activities.

The American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the strike targeted a leader of Harakat al Nujaba, a Shia militia that forms part of the PMF, without naming the individual.

Iraq's foreign ministry condemned the attack.

'Iraq reserves its right to take a firm stance and take all measures that deter anyone who tries to harm its land and security forces,' it said.

Iraqi police sources and witnesses said a drone fired at least two rockets in eastern Baghdad at a facility used by the Iraqi militia group al-Nujaba.

The Iran-backed organization was designated a terrorist group in 2019 by the Trump administration.

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