Iran-backed militia leader threatens retaliation against US

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Anti-aircraft batteries near Baghdad’s Green Zone shut down an armed drone on Monday in the vicinity of the United States Embassy, as earlier in the day another attack had targeted the Ain al-Asad airbase hosting US troops in Western Iraq.

More recently, attacks against US targets blamed on Iran-backed militias in Iraq have become more sophisticated with militants using drones.

Meanwhile, the leader of an Iran-backed Iraqi militia vowed on Monday to retaliate for the death of four of his men in a US airstrike along the Iraq-Syria border late last month, saying it will be a “qualitative operation” that everyone will talk about.

Abu Alaa al-Walae, commander of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press the victory of Iran’s hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi in last month’s presidential vote will strengthen Iran-backed militant groups throughout the Middle East.

The Popular Mobilization Forces, an Iraqi state-sanctioned umbrella of mostly Shiite militias — including those targeted by the US strikes — said their men were on missions to prevent infiltration by the Islamic State group and denied the presence of weapons warehouses.

US troops in eastern Syria came under rocket attack the day following the airstrikes, with no reported casualties.

US military officials have grown increasingly alarmed over these strikes targeting US military bases in Iraq, which became more common after a US-directed drone killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top Middle East operative near Baghdad airport last year.

Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack.

Source » iranintl

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