US-Led Coalition Attacks Militias in Iraq and Syria, Killing at Least 26

Militia pounded in border town of Abu Kamal

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a deadly airstrike carried out by the US-led coalition hit the Syrian border-crossing town of Abu Kamal, hitting Shi’ite militia forces and killing at least 26 of them.

Coming just hours after an attack on the Camp Tabi base north of Baghdad, which US officials are blaming on the militias, this appears to be the first in a series of retaliatory strikes by the US and other nations, and so far the only one with confirmed casualties.

Other reports suggest the US hit as many as 5 militia sites inside Iraq, and while there is no confirmation it is expected there will be more casualties to come. The US has confirmed those attacks, despite only saying they think the militia’s guilt is “likely” and that investigations will continue.

The Syria strike however appears somewhat nebulous, as US officials have denied any involvement in it, and say as far as they know the coalition didn’t carry out any operations in Syria at all.

That’s possible, though strikes on Abu Kamal are not unusual for the coalition. Israel has been known to attack the militias there as well, labeling them “Iranian” by virtue of them being Shi’ite.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.