Iraq: US kills 24 members of anti-ISIS security forces

30th Dec 2019
Iraq: US kills 24 members of anti-ISIS security forces

By Aamir Hassani

 

BAGHDAD (AA): Death toll of Sunday attacks by the U.S. on positions belong to Iraqi anti-ISIS Kataib Hezbollah security group in Iraq and Syria border has risen to 24, according to an Iraqi source on Monday.

Jawad Kadhim Al-Rabaiwi, senior leader of Hashd al-Shaabi — an umbrella group for various security groups which has been fighting ISIS terrorist group — said in a statement that 24 were killed and another 51 were injured as a result of these attacks.

Al-Rabaiwi pointed out that the death toll might rise as a result of the severe injuries.

U.S. forces struck five Iraqi Hezbollah positions in Iraq and Syria, the military said in a statement on Sunday.

The “defensive strikes” against the Kataib Hezbollah militia group came in response to rocket attacks Friday on an Iraqi base that hosts U.S. coalition forces fighting Daesh/ISIS.

Three locations in Iraq and two in Syria were targeted, according to chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

They included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations which were claimed to be used to plan and carry out attacks on anti-Daesh coalition forces.

The strikes will “degrade” Kataib Hezbollah’s “ability to conduct future attacks” against the coalition forces, Hoffman said.

“Iran and its Kataib Hezbollah 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,” Hoffman added.

On Friday, one U.S. civilian contractor was killed and several U.S. service members and Iraqi personnel were injured in the attack in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk.

Incorporated into the Iraqi Armed Forces in late 2016, the Hashd al-Shaabi, who are also known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and as the People’s Mobilization Committee and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

The PMF have been present at the border since the start of liberation operations from ISIS controlled area, and with the knowledge of Government’s Iraqi Joint Operations.

First established in 2014 with the express purpose of fighting the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group, the Hashd al-Shaabi is believed to include more than 150,000 Shia, Sunni, Christian and Yazidi fighters.

US army had attacked Hashd al-Shaabi security forces in February last year, killing 22 of its members near border with Syria.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Map of Iraq by Chris at English Wikipedia/Public Domain]

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