Iran-backed Kata’ib Hizbollah: “The blood of the martyrs will not be in vain and our response will be very tough on the American forces in Iraq.”
Iran-backed terrorist group Kata’ib Hizbollah has “vowed revenge” after the United State carried out airstrikes against its bases in Syria and Iraq, the news agency Reuters reported. Iran also warned of ‘consequences’ following the U.S. operation that took place on Sunday, media reports said.
U.S. forces targeted several weapons depots and bases belonging to Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH), a U.S.-designated terrorist group. With Sunday’s airstrikes, Washington was responding to attacks against U.S. and allied forces by the Iran-backed terror group. Last week, a U.S. civilian was killed and several soldiers were injured in a rocket attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq.
The U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter planes “conducted precision defensive strikes” against five Kata’ib Hizbollah facilities in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. Defense Department disclosed. The strikes will “degrade” Kata’ib Hizbollah’s “ability to conduct future attacks against” coalition forces, a Pentagon spokesperson affirmed.
Kata’ib Hizbollah threatened U.S. army personnel in the region following the airstrikes that took out more than two dozen of its operatives, injuring some 50 others. “The blood of the martyrs will not be in vain and our response will be very tough on the American forces in Iraq,” the founder and former chief of Kata’ib Hizbollah declared. Lebanon-based Hezbollah, another Iranian proxy, also decried the U.S. military action.
Reuters reported Iran-backed terrorist group’s threats following the U.S. air strike:
A top Iraqi militia leader warned of a strong response against U.S. forces in Iraq following air strikes in Iraq and Syria overnight that hit several bases of his Iranian-backed group and killed at least 25 people. (…)
“The blood of the martyrs will not be in vain and our response will be very tough on the American forces in Iraq,” senior commander Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, said late on Sunday. Iran said it strongly condemned the raids as “terrorism”.
Mohandes is a senior commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an umbrella grouping of paramilitary groups mostly consisting of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias that was formally integrated into Iraq’s armed forces.
He is also one of Iran’s most powerful allies in Iraq and formerly headed Kataib Hezbollah, which he founded.
“We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” Pompeo told reporters after briefing the U.S. President.
“We will take additional actions as necessary to ensure that we act in our own self-defense and we deter further bad behavior from militia groups or from Iran,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday.
Armed and funded by Tehran, Kata’ib Hizbollah is regarded as the Iraqi-wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Iranian regime’s military arm. “KH has a strong linkage with Iran’s Quds Force and has repeatedly received lethal aid and other support from Iran that it has used to attack OIR coalition forces,” a spokesperson for the Pentagon said in statement, referring to the Quds Force, IRCG’s international operations unit. “Iran and their KH proxy forces must cease their attacks on U.S. and coalition forces, and respect Iraq’s sovereignty, to prevent additional defensive actions by U.S. forces,” the U.S. defense department official added.
In its quest for domination of the Middle East, Iran continues to arm and steer terror militia groups that target the U.S. and allied forces in the region. With the help of Shia-Islamist proxies like Kata’ib Hizbollah, Tehran dreams of a Shiite corridor stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. The regime siphons off billions to these loyalist militia while its own population struggles to make ends meet.
President Donald Trump has dampened those grandiose plans by scrapping the Obama-era Iran deal and replacing it with a policy of ‘maximum pressure.’ In the wake of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil, shipping, and banking sectors, the regime has been plunged into the biggest economic crisis since it took control four decades ago. Threatened with economic ruin, Tehran has carried out a series of provocative actions in the region. In September, Iran attacked the Saudi Arabia’s oil fields knocking out half of the oil giant’s production. The regime’s military arm, IRGC, carried out a series of attacks on foreign oil tankers in international waters. Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a move that could strangle up to a quarter of the world’s oil supply.
U.S. says air strikes on Iran-backed group “successful”
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