US carries out retaliatory air strikes in Iraq against Iran-backed groups

US military launched air strikes on pro-Iranian group in Iraq following the death of two Americans and a Briton in a rocket attack, military officials told AFP on Thursday Americans.

“The operation is underway” and is targeting weapons installations, said an official on condition of anonymity, without specifying where the strikes took place.

“US air strikes targeted positions of Hashed al-Shaabi in several provinces across Iraq, targeting logistics nodes and UAV (drone) storage units,” said a second official, adding that the faction Iran-backed army, Kataeb Hezbollah, was one of those targets.

Earlier Thursday, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned that “all options are on the table” to respond to the deaths of the three soldiers in a rocket attack at Taji Air Force Wednesday.

Fourteen other people were injured in the attack, including Americans, British and Poles.

The rocket attack raised fears of a further escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which saw about 18 rockets landing on the base, Washington accused Iran-backed factions of Hashed al-Shaabi’s military network of recent similar violence.

“The strikes started at 1:00 am local time and use different types of aircraft,” said one of the sources.

“We have no immediate information on the victims,” ​​added the official.

“This is the response to yesterday’s rocket fire … It is not a coalition operation. It is a specifically American operation.”

(AFP)