The US military’s regional command (CENTCOM) said that the commander of the pro-Iranian militia Kataib Hezbollah was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad on Wednesday.
CENTCOM forces at 9.30pm Baghdad time (1930 GMT) “conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq in response to the attacks on US service members, killing a Kata’ib Hezbollah commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on US forces in the region,” the command said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
There is currently no evidence of collateral damage or civilian casualties, the US military added. “We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces’ safety,” the post said.
US media reported that at least three members of Kataib Hezbollah were killed in the strike.
Dubai-based Al Arabiya news reported, quoting a security source, that a drone had targeted a vehicle, killing several people inside it, including a senior commander in the Iran-backed militia. Witnesses reported explosions in eastern Baghdad.
Sabereen News, a media outlet close to the Iran-backed militia, reported that Abu Baqir al-Saadi, a leader in the Hashd Shaabi group, was killed along with an aide.
The report blamed the attack on a US strike.
The US military has attacked targets in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks, in response to attacks by Iran-allied militia on its forces in the region.
On January 28, three US soldiers were killed in a drone attack by pro-Iranian militias in Jordan near the Syrian border.
Numerous other soldiers were injured. US President Joe Biden blamed “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq” for the attack and threatened to retaliate.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which claimed responsibility for the January 28 attack, is an umbrella group for pro-Iranian militias in Iraq operating together under
this general name since the war in Gaza broke out on October 7.
Since the start of the conflict, pro-Iranian militias have carried out almost daily attacks on US military bases in Iraq and Syria. The US government has responded with air strikes in both countries.