US Suspected Air strikes launched pro-Iranian militants in southern Iraq
According to Iraqi media, several explosions were heard south of the Iraqi capital Bagdad. Reports say US or Israeli airstrikes may have targeted Iranian-backed militias there, but the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it was unaware of “any airstrikes in Iraq.”Although CENTCOM said it was unaware of the four attacks in Jurf al-Sakhar province, reports say US F-16 drones carried out the attacks.
Nine Iraqi military personnel were killed. Residents said US warplanes were hovering over the al-Qaem area near the Iraqi-Syrian border following the attacks.Iraqi military officials said there were no casualties. Iraqi Security Media Cell has denied that Iraqi security forces were targeted in the area, and warned people not to believe the false information posted on the social media. Jennifer Griffin, a U.S. defense official, said there had been no US airstrikes near Baghdad on Monday night, despite reports.
Arab media reported Monday night that airstrikes had targeted Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias near Baghdad. Iran’s Al-Alam network has said that nine members of the Iraqi army were killed in the shelling and tens of others wounded in the US suspected attacks.Iran backed militias and US forces in Iraq are often in conflict, and resulted in large losses. Shiite militants have fired rockets into the Baghdad green zone, most recently near the US embassy in Iraq.
Tensions have been running high since the first anniversary of the US assassination of General QasemSulaimani in Iraq and the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Iran has vowed to retaliate against those who killed Qasem, meaning the United States. The United States and Israel have warned that Iran could launch attacks targeting US bases in the Middle East, sending drones and submarines into the Persian Gulf.