International News

Round Two: US Drone Airstrikes Kill Six Pro-Iran Militia Commanders

Whether he is eating ice cream or not, Trump appears to be on a rampage to recreate the end of The Godfather.

Less than 24 hours after a US drone shockingly killed the top Iranian military leader, Qasem Soleimani, resulting in equity markets groaning around the globe in fear over Iranian reprisals (and potentially, World War III), the US has gone for round two with Reuters and various other social media sources reporting that US air strikes targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad, have killed six people and critically wounded three, an Iraqi army source said late on Friday.

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Iraqi official media has also confirm that two vehicles were targeted north of Baghdad, carrying commanders of the pro-Iran militias in the PMUs.

Two of the three vehicles making up a militia convoy were found burned, a Reuters source said, as well as six burned corpses.

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The strikes reportedly took place at 1:12 am local time.

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According to unconfirmed reports, a US MQ-9 Reaper drone targeted a convoy carrying several high ranking officials of PMU (Hashd al-Shaabi) in Taji, North of Baghdad. The casualties are said to be mostly among members of the IRGC-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq. It is not known whether Qais al-Khazali is dead or alive.

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Separate reports claim that Shibl al-Zaidi, a commander of Kataib Imam Ali brigades, an Iranian-backed militia and the PMU’s 40th Brigade, is among those the six who were killed in the strike.

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Al-Zaidi was close (see on left) to Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, both killed 24hrs ago.

That said there are conflicting reports, with some noting that a Twitter account allegedly belonging to al-Zaidi tweeted that he is alive after the attack.

Additionally, Hamad al-Jazairi, the deputy leader of Saraya al-Khorasani, was also reprotedly among those killed tonight.

In separate, unconfirmed reports, yet another airstrike is said to have targeted a convoy in Iraq’s Nineveh governorate.

And so, with the US laying death and carnage from the sky across Iraq, reactions have ranged from the sarcastic and laconic…

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… to the objectively concerned, with some wondering how much further is Iraq going to let US operate freely in country before they decide to kick their assets out? These airstrikes really make the Iraqi government look weak like they can’t deal with their problems by themselves, which may or may not be true, but the point stands.”

Of course, the other point is when and how will Iran respond, as it is now clear that if it does nothing it will only embolden the US to pick off its top generals, while any substantial escalation could lead to a regional war.

Story cited here.