70 US servicemembers and contractors have been injured in over 81 strikes on American military installations in Iraq and Syria. The attacks have come at a frequent clip, starting after Israel began her butchery in Gaza. At least 30 of the injuries have been described as concussions or traumatic brain injuries. The rest are likely similar.
The most recent attack was carried out with mortars or drones on the US Embassy in Baghdad, three small posts in Iraq, and 2 on the al-Asad Airbase in Syria. Reuters reports there were no injuries and minor damage in this latest attack. The attacks were blamed on two Shi’ite-member militia groups called Kataib Hezbollah and Harakat al-Nujaba, the former of which has previously claimed credit for such attacks and repeatedly said they will continue as long as Israel’s bombardment of Gaza continues.
In five instances, US air assets have struck back at targets claimed to belong to or represent these groups and others like them, but they haven’t reduced the rate of attacks on US bases in the region. The Pentagon routinely blames these attacks on Iran, though it has admitted it has no evidence for this accusation.
While called the “embassy” in Baghdad, the US diplomatic mission to the country it once invaded is a sprawling militarized compound of 104 acres, roughly the same size as Vatican City, and the largest diplomatic mission to a country by a factor of 5. The Marine Corps acts as security detail for the compound, which can house up to 3,000 civilian employees.
Following the attack, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin shared a call with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.
“The United States reserves the right to respond decisively against those groups,” Austin told Sudani, according to a Pentagon statement summarizing the call, while Sudani, who has condemned previous US responses which have killed two dozen mostly unidentified people, maintained it is the job of the Iraqi Armed Forces to punish those responsible.
Sudani also called the groups like Kataib Hezbollah and others calling themselves the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, “unruly, lawless groups that do not in any way represent the will of the Iraqi people”.
No authorization from Congress and no National Security Strategy outlines the role of US troops in the west of Iraq and east of Syria, but if asked, Pentagon spokesmen will reply it is to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.
On November 8th, the Pentagon released a statement that said President Biden has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and that air strikes conducted in response to attacks on its forces, numbering almost 3,000 across Iraq and Syria, reflect this. However, the strikes have not protected US personnel, who continue to suffer brain damage from the concussive force of the blasts. WaL
PICTURED ABOVE: Kataib Hezbollah militia soldiers marching. PC: Kataib Hezbollah