The United States has responded militarily against Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria, targeting 85 sites on Friday night.
US Central Command (Centcom) said it hit Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp Quds Forces and affiliated groups it blames for launching more than 170 attacks on American military sites in Anbar, Nineveh, and Syria since 7 October.
Long-range bombers were used by the US, with targets reported to include the command-and-control centres, intelligence centres, rockets and missiles, drone storage sites, and logistics and supply chain facilities of militia groups.
It follows a drone attack against the US base known as Tower 22 in Jordan, near the Syrian border. Three US service personnel were killed and 41 injured. Washington says the drone used to attack the base was made and supplied by Iran.
The flurry of action in recent days has led to a sharpened focus on the militias based in the lawless areas of Syria and Iraq, with particular attention paid to the latter.
Malignant and armed
The Shiite factions justify their assaults on the Americans as retaliation for Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. They see the US and Israel as two sides of the same coin.
A significant portion of Iraq’s Shiite ruling parties operate armed militias in direct contravention of the Iraqi Parties Law. Leveraging their political affiliations, these militias have effectively woven themselves into the fabric of the state apparatus.
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