1704416905 The US attacks a pro Iranian militia in Baghdad with a

The US attacks a pro-Iranian militia in Baghdad with a drone amid strong regional tensions

The US attacks a pro Iranian militia in Baghdad with a

U.S.-led international coalition forces in Iraq carried out a drone strike in central Baghdad on Thursday, killing a senior commander of a militia backed by Iran but nominally dependent on the Iraqi army, the Arab country's government reported. Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al Sudani's office said it was a “dangerous escalation”. The move increases pressure to end the presence of American troops in Iraq amid Israel's brutal military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The attack comes amid worrying rising tensions in the Middle East, raising fears of higher levels of violence and destabilization in the region. On Tuesday, the number two of the Palestinian Hamas militia, Saleh al Aruri, was killed in another attack in the Lebanese capital Beirut, which is not claimed, but everything seems to indicate that he was executed by Israel. Adding to the confusion caused by an Islamic State attack on Wednesday in the Iranian city of Kerman, which has become the deadliest in the country's history, with at least 84 dead and around 300 injured, according to the latest figures from local authorities.

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The Baghdad bombing, which Washington has remained silent about, also coincides with an increase in counterattacks between the United States and Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq that began in the wake of Israel's military offensive in Gaza. Since its launch in early October, this constellation of armed groups has carried out more than a hundred attacks on US troop positions. Although the exchange was initially limited in scope and both sides appeared to be trying to minimize the damage and reduce the risk of a spiral of violence, they have become more aggressive in recent weeks. In most cases, however, the North American attacks followed previous actions by these armed groups, although this does not appear to have been the case in this case.

This Thursday's attack targeted the headquarters of a group integrated into the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of militias close to the Iranian authorities and formally dependent on the Iraqi army, but in practice operating with great autonomy. The highest-ranking figure killed in the attack was Moshtaq Talib al Saidi, known as Abu Taqwa, a senior leader of the al-Nujaba movement, a militia close to Tehran that was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in 2019 . The total number of casualties caused by the action is not clear, but the funeral of Abu Taqwa and another militiaman took place on Thursday afternoon.

Iraq speaks of a terrorist attack

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The Iraqi prime minister's office likened the attack to a terrorist attack and criticized it as being carried out against a group operating below the chain of command of the country's army, undermining “any understanding” with coalition forces. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack and assured that Baghdad reserves the right to take appropriate measures to deter further similar acts. The U.S.-led international coalition in Iraq was formed with the primary goal of supporting the fight against the Islamic State, with the Popular Mobilization Forces playing a key role. But since its defeat in 2017, the mission has focused on advising and training the Iraqi army.

The increasing frequency and intensity of exchanges between the United States and these armed groups has led to growing unrest among the Iraqi authorities, whose ability to stop the escalation is very limited, and renewed calls for a withdrawal of North American troops. Prime Minister Al Sudani himself recently stated that his government was working to end its presence, and Thursday's attack reinforced that call from the country's political and military leadership.

Before Israel's aggression in Gaza, the United States had about 2,500 troops in Iraq and another 900 in Syria, officially as part of the international coalition against the Islamic State, but in the last three months Washington has significantly increased its military presence in the east. Next. The Pentagon reiterates that this operation serves three main objectives: to prevent Iranian-backed groups from opening new fronts outside the Gaza Strip, to protect Israel's security during its military operation in the Gaza Strip, and to protect its own forces in the region and its citizens.

The attack in Baghdad coincided with an escalation of clashes between the Israeli army and the Lebanese movement Hezbollah on the border between the two countries, which have been taking place since the beginning of October but became one of the deadliest days for the latter this Thursday. after several Israeli attacks. At the same time, attacks by the Houthi movement in Yemen continued this week near Iran in the Red Sea, one of the main arteries of global maritime trade, forcing major shipping companies to withdraw from the region.

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