A U.S. airstrike killed the leader of an Iran-linked militia believed to be behind the drone attack that killed three American servicemembers earlier this year. The strike could mark a departure from the Biden administration’s approach to the Middle East after Iran-supported groups launched more than 150 attacks on U.S. forces in the region since last year.
The Pentagon said that Kataib Hezbollah leader Wissam Mohammed “Abu Bakr” al-Saadi was targeted in Iraq by a U.S. drone. The attack targeted the vehicle al-Saadi was in.
U.S. Central Command has announced that they conducted a Unilateral Airstrike tonight on a Kata'ib Hezbollah Commander in Baghdad, Iraq who was Responsible for the Ordering and Planning of Attacks by Iranian-Backed Groups on U.S. Bases across the Middle East including the One-Way…
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) February 7, 2024
Al-Saadi is believed to be the organization’s operations chief in Syria. The strike against U.S. forces in Jordan is believed to have been launched from Syria.
“The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect our people,” U.S. Central Central Command in a statement. “We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces’ safety.”
The attack in Jordan was not an isolated incident. Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war last October, militias have launched a variety of drone and rocket attacks against American forces in the region. The troops in Jordan were stationed as part of the anti-ISIS effort.
Furthermore, Iran is aiding the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, which has launched dozens of attacks against civilian shipping and military vessels, including American warships.
The United States and Great Britain have launched a series of airstrikes against the Houthis, although the group continues to launch attacks in and around the Red Sea.
Critics point to the fact that Iran deployed a vessel Washington believes is used for spying and aiding the Houthi rebel attacks. However, the Biden administration has not indicated any plans to strike the ship.
Republicans in Congress also argued that the Biden administration’s airstrikes in Iraq and Syria last week were ineffective, and needed to target higher-level Iranian officials. In 2020, following the death of an American, former President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.