Pressure Mounts for US To End Coalition With Iraq Following Drone Strike on Iran-Backed Commander

A fighter of the Hashed Al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization units) waves an Iraqi flag as others behind flash the victory gesture, during the advance through the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, after the Iraqi government announced the launch of the operation to retake it from Islamic State (IS) group control, on August 26, 2017.

Last night, the situation in the Middle East escalated as a result of the US’s targeted killing of an Iran-backed militia commander in Iraq. Striking images captured the fiery aftermath of the car that Wissam Mohammed ‘Abu Bakr’ al-Saadi was in, which was struck by an American drone.

Three members of Kataib Hezbollah, including the commander of their operations in Syria, were killed in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The hit ordered by Washington was in retaliation for attacks on US troops in the region. However, Iraqi authorities have strongly condemned the ‘blatant assassination’ that took place in a residential neighborhood.

A large number of people gathered around the vehicle following the strike on Wednesday evening, with local authorities expressing concerns that these attacks may lead to the termination of the US-led coalition’s presence in the region. 

Yehia Rasool, a spokesperson for Iraq’s prime minister, expressed concern about the international coalition’s actions, stating that they have gone beyond their intended reasons and objectives for being present on Iraqi territory.

He stated that the current situation is pushing the Iraqi government to consider ending the mission of the coalition. According to him, the coalition has become a source of instability and poses a risk of dragging Iraq into further conflict.

Enraged crowds in Baghdad expressed their strong discontent, chanting slogans and confronting riot police. ‘America should be investigated for allegedly breaching international law,’ one protester expressed to Sky News.

‘How are they able to launch an offensive on another nation and take lives without facing any consequences?’

US Strike Spurs Calls for Retaliation, Heightens Tensions in Iraq and Syria

US Army officers drive their tanks M1 Abrams during the exercise Olympic Cooperation 23 at the Petrochori training area, near Xanthi, northern Greece, on November 24, 2023.

The US attack quickly sparked strong calls for retaliation from other pro-Iran fighting groups, known as the Axis of Resistance in Iraq.

The paramilitary group Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba issued a warning, emphasizing the need for a strong and decisive response from the Iraqi government to prevent further attacks.

The US currently maintains a presence of approximately 2,500 troops in Iraq and 900 troops in Syria. Their mission is to prevent the resurgence of Islamic State in the region. American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 resulted in a prolonged period of violence and disorder that persists to this day.

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