U.S. assassinates top Kata’ib Hezbollah commander

The drone strike on a car in Baghdad killed three men, including the head of the Iranian proxy’s aerial division.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The United States assassinated a top Islamic terrorist in the middle of Baghdad Wednesday night as part of its ongoing retaliation for the Iranian-backed drone strike on an American base in Jordan in which three of its soldiers were killed.

The American forces “conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq in response to the attacks on U.S. service members, killing a Kata’ib Hezbollah commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on U.S. forces in the region,” U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) said in a statement on X. “The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect our people. We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces’ safety.”

Iraqi media named the commander as Abu Bakr al-Saadi, the head of Kata’ib Hezbollah’s aerial division. He was traveling in an SUV with two other men when the vehicle exploded. The others in the car were identified in Iranian reports as fellow terrorists in the organization.

An NPR report cited a former senior American military official who said that the kind of Hellfire missile that was apparently used had an inert warhead rather than an explosive one, in order to contain the damage. USCENTCOM said in its statement that there were “no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties at this time.”

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The much smaller Iraqi equivalent of Hezbollah in Lebanon has been responsible for many of the over 150 attacks on American forces in the region committed by puppets of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.  These attacks are clearly in response to U.S. support for Israel since the Jewish state declared war on Hamas following the Gazan terrorists’ surprise invasion on October 7th, in which they massacred 1,200 and took some 250 hostage.

Immediately after the successful attack in Jordan, the group had announced it was suspending its anti-American assaults in order to avoid “embarrassing” the Iraqi government. Ignoring the statement, the U.S. has struck more than 85 terrorist targets in Iraq and Syria from the air since then, including Kata’ib Hezbollah sites, in an apparent effort to stop all attacks on its personnel in the region.

President Joe Biden has vowed to continue hitting the various enemy militias even while avoiding attacking Iran itself.

Iraqi officials have condemned U.S. attacks on its soil, such as one last Friday in which 16 fighters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) were killed. The PMF consists of armed groups paid by Iran that are now part of Iraqi government security forces.

Following that airstrike, a government spokesman said that “The presence of the international coalition, which deviated from its assigned tasks and granted mandate [to fight ISIS], has become a reason for endangering security and stability in Iraq. It also serves as a justification for entangling Iraq in regional and international conflicts.”