Iraqi resistance forces have pledged revenge after the United States conducted deadly airstrikes on the Iraq-Syria border.
US warplanes attacked three targets allegedly belonging to Iraqi resistance groups along the border between Iraq and Syria at around 6 pm Eastern Time Sunday in the early hours of Monday in the region.
According to Sabereen News, four Iraqi fighters were killed in the attack on the headquarters of the 14th Brigade of Popular Mobilization Forces, better known as Hashd al-Sha'abi.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Iraqi resistance factions pledged to “avenge the blood of our righteous martyrs and wreak vengeance on the perpetrators of this heinous crime”. They also warned the US against repeating its aggression.
Earlier in the day, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada group, which operates under the command of Hashd al-Sha’abi, warned of severe retaliation.
“From now on, we will enter an open war with the American occupation. The first of which is targeting its hostile aircraft in the sky over our beloved Iraq,” the group said.
The group stressed that the US bases in Iraq are “within the range of our missiles and we would avenge the blood of our martyrs”.
Ahmed al-Maksousi, the commander of the 14th Brigade of Hashd al-Sha'abi, has stressed that the brigade is “fully prepared” to respond to the US airstrikes.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the “precision airstrikes” had hit two locations in Syria and another in Iraq near the border.
He said the attacks had taken place "at President Biden's direction,” alleging that they hit “facilities” used by “multiple” groups. The spokesman specified two of the groups as “Kata'ib Hezbollah and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.”
The targets had been selected because the alleged facilities were used by groups “that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq,” he said.
Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
Just two days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.
Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.
Ahmed al-Assadi, the spokesman of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament, said in a tweet on Monday the airstrikes indicate that the US has failed to “isolate the Hashd from the government and public” after they proved that they are “an official force that defend Iraq and its people against the enemies”.
Syrian media outlets said the US aerial offensive had targeted houses on the outskirts of the town of al-Bukamal in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, killing one child and wounding three other civilians.