X

'You Don't Get to Kill and Wound Americans, Get Away With It'

Pentagon says US hit Iran-backed group that attacked Iraq base
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 13, 2020 12:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The US launched airstrikes Thursday in Iraq, targeting the Iranian-backed Shia militia members believed responsible for the rocket attack that killed and wounded American and British troops at a base north of Baghdad, the Pentagon said. US officials said multiple strikes by US fighter jets hit five locations and mainly targeted Kataib Hezbollah weapons facilities inside Iraq. A Defense Department statement said the strikes targeted five weapons storage facilities "to significantly degrade their ability to conduct future attacks." The strikes marked a rapid escalation in tensions with Tehran and its proxy groups in Iraq, just two months after Iran carried out a massive ballistic missile attack against American troops at a base in Iraq, the AP reports.

story continues below

The strikes came hours after US defense leaders threatened retaliation for the Wednesday attack, making clear that they knew who did it and that the attackers would be held accountable. "The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said. The Pentagon called the counterattack "defensive, proportional, and in direct response to the threat" posed by the Iranian-backed Shia militia groups. Esper told reporters at the Pentagon earlier Thursday that President Trump had given him the authority to take whatever action he deemed necessary "We've got to hold the perpetrators accountable," Esper said. "You don't get to shoot at our bases and kill and wound Americans and get away with it."

(Read more Iraq stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.