US launches offensive against Iraq after attack by terrorist group

The US military launched attacks on three facilities in Iraq, against which a terrorist group backed by Iran, which Washington accused of a series of attacks against US personnel, including one on Monday that left three people injured.

The swings underscore the risk that the war between Israel and Hamas could turn into a broader conflagration. Iran said an Israeli airstrike in Damascus on Monday killed one high commander of his Revolutionary Guard. Meanwhile, the United States has formed a coalition of military willing to help protect the Red Sea shipping routes, after several ships were attacked by Houthi rebels.

Iran, which backs Hamas and other regional groups, has denied it is helping militants attack commercial ships.

“At the direction of President Biden, US military forces carried out necessary and proportionate strikes against three facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in Iraq,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. Referring to the threat of a broader war, Austin said that “while We do not seek to escalate the conflict in the region“We are committed and fully prepared to take further measures necessary to protect our people and our facilities.”

US Central Command said that “early assessments indicate that these US airstrikes destroyed targeted facilities and They probably killed several Kataib Hezbollah militants”. Centcom added, in a separate statement, that there was no indication that civilian lives had been affected.

Iraq condemned US attacksand the prime minister’s office said in a statement that the United States had attacked “Iraqi military sites” and that a member of the country’s armed forces had been killed.

The White House described the attack in the middle of Christmas as a drone attack against US forces in northern Iraq, where three service members were injured, one of them seriously. President Biden was briefed on the attack and, in an afternoon call with national security officials, ordered the retaliatory response.

Kataib Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Iraqi insurgent group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States since 2009, according to the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. The group, also known as Hezbollah Brigades, He took credit for the attack on American troops, according to the White House.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected international criticism of the continuation of the war in Gaza, saying peace will only be possible when Hamas is destroyed.