US Attacks Shi’ite Militia Targets in Iraq

After US troops were attacked at Camp Taji in Iraq on Wednesday, the US did not worry about establishing who actually did it, but rather launched retaliation early Thursday against Shi’ite militia Ketaib Hezbollah.

US officials were setting the stage for that attack almost immediately, saying that they were still investigating, but that the group was “most likely” to be behind the Wednesday attack. Apparently that was all they needed to carry out the strikes.

Trump was quick to authorize the use of military force, and similarly blamed Ketaib Hezbollah, while presenting them as “Iran-backed” to make this into a strike against Iran “proxies.”

This is the go-to reaction for the US when they sustain any sort of hit in Iraq, and was the cause of a big flare-up earlier this year when the US assassinated a top Iranian general on a similar pretext.

Esper insisted all options are on the table in US attacks, while Trump had declined to comment ahead of the attacks, beyond his usual “we’ll see.” As is so often the case, it was more escalation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.