The U.S. military has carried out "defensive strikes" in Iraq and Syria against the Kata'ib Hezbollah militia group, U.S. officials said on Sunday.
The Pentagon said in a statement it had targeted three locations of the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Muslim militia group in Iraq and two in Syria. The locations included weapons storage facilities and command and control locations the group had used to plan and execute attacks on coalition forces.
"In response to repeated Kata'ib Hizbollah attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, U.S. forces have conducted precision defensive strikes ... that will degrade KH's ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in the statement.
The strike was likely carried out by drones and several militia fighters were reportedly killed near the western Qaim district on the Iraq-Syria border.
A U.S. civilian contractor was killed on Friday in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other U.S. service members and Iraq personnel were also wounded in the attack.
A U.S. official had said the United States was looking into the possible involvement of Kata'ib Hezbollah.
Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iranian-backed forces for a series of attacks on bases in Iraq and warned Iran that any attacks by Tehran or proxies that harmed Americans or allies would be "answered with a decisive U.S. response."
First published: 19:53 , 12.29.19