WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. launched airstrikes in Iraq, targeting the Iranian-backed Shiite 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.
U.S. officials said multiple strikes by U.S. fighter jets on Thursday 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. They came just hours after top U.S. defense leaders threatened retaliation for the Wednesday rocket attack, making clear that they knew who did it and that the attackers would be held accountable.