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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Iraqi paramilitary fighter killed in U.S. airstrikes


A member of the Iraqi government-backed paramilitary forces of Hashd Shaabi was killed and two others were wounded by U.S. airstrikes near the Iraqi-Syrian border and the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday.

The Hashd Shaabi said in a statement that U.S. aircraft bombarded after midnight a position manned by the victims in the town of al-Qaim, some 400 km west of Baghdad.

Also after midnight, U.S. aircraft bombed a military college building for the Hashd Shaabi members in the Jurf al-Nasr area, south of Baghdad, destroying the building and causing damage to nearby headquarters of the paramilitary forces, the statement added.

The U.S. Central Command said in a post on social media platform X that unilateral airstrikes were conducted at 00:15 a.m. Wednesday local time (2115 GMT) against three facilities used by Hezbollah, a Shiite military group and other Iran-affiliated groups in Iraq.

“These strikes targeted Hezbollah headquarters, storage, and training locations for rocket, missile, and one-way attack capabilities,” the command said.

It said that the attacks were in response to Hezbollah’s attacks on U.S. military sites, including the attack on the Ayn al-Asad Airbase in Iraq’s western province of Anbar.

On Jan. 20, about 20 rockets were launched toward the Ayn al-Asad Airbase. Most of the rockets were shot down except one that landed on an empty area inside the base, according to an Iraqi military source.

An Iraqi soldier was wounded by the shrapnels of the rockets that were intercepted by the air defense system and exploded in the air, according to the source.

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