The U.S. military announced on December 29 that it had launched “precision defensive strikes” on five positions of Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) in Iraq and Syria.
In an official statement, the army said that the strikes were a response to the repeated KH attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces.
“The five targets include three KH locations in Iraq and two in Syria. These locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations that KH uses to plan and execute attacks on OIR coalition forces,” the statement, which was released by the Pentagon, reads.
The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a coalition that includes KH, confirmed that U.S. strikes targeted positions of its 45th and 46th Brigades in western Anbar and near the border with Syria.
According to the an initial statement by the PMU command, “dozens” of Iraqi fighters were killed or injured as a result of the strikes.
Arab sources, including Sky News Arabia, al-Arabiya and al-Mayadeen, claimed that prominent leaders of the PMU, including Abu Ali al-Khazali, were among the casualties. However, this has not been confirmed, yet.
Earlier this year, the PMU vowed to respond to any attack by U.S. or Israel on its troops using “advanced weapons.” A threat that may turn into a reality in the few upcoming days.