After earlier in the day US President Trump authorized the Pentagon to “do what we need to do” in terms of a military response against alleged Iran-backed militias believed responsible for Wednesday’s rocket attacks on Camp Taji, which killed one British and two American soldiers, and wounded at least a dozen more, there are widespread reports the US has initiated massive airstrikes over southern Iraq late Thursday night.
A BBC correspondent in the region is describing “multiple strikes across Iran-backed groups’ facilities” which include “logistics and drone warehouses.”
Early reports suggest the attack includes “large amounts of munitions” on multiple Iraqi Shia militia targets. Moments after initial reports on social media US defense offcials confirmed that “airstrikes are underway against Iran-backed militia group that hit Iraq base,” according to the Associated Press.
As if the Mideast region and the world for that matter needs another crisis to worry about, this could be the start of the kind of tit-for-tat between the US and Iran which paved the way for the US killing by drone of IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani on January 3rd. Since then, the two have been on a war footing.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper hours ago warned the US would hold the groups behind Wednesday’s attack on Taji base accountable. “You don’t get to shoot at our bases and kill and wound Americans and get away with it,” he said earlier.