U.S. military conducts retaliatory strikes against Shia militia in Iraq
WASHINGTON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Pentagon confirmed Thursday night that the U.S. military conducted strikes against a Shia militia group's facilities across Iraq, as a response to Wednesday's rocket attack on Iraq's Camp Taji military base that had killed two U.S. soldiers and one British service member.
"Earlier this evening, the United States conducted defensive precision strikes against Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) facilities across Iraq," the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The statement noted that the strikes targeted five weapon storage facilities to degrade their ability to conduct future attacks against coalition forces, adding that these weapon storage facilities include the facilities that had housed weapons used to target U.S. and coalition troops.
"The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies," Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in the statement.
There were 14 others wounded in the rocket attack on Iraq's Camp Taji, north of the capital city of Baghdad, according to the statement.
The U.S.-led coalition force said Wednesday that approximately 18 rockets struck the base, adding that Iraqi Security Forces had found a rocket-rigged truck a few miles from the Camp Taji.
The United States claimed that KH was responsible for numerous attacks against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Iraq, including a rocket attack on an Iraqi base near Kirkuk (the K1 base) in late December 2019 that had killed a U.S. civilian contractor and injured four U.S. service members.
The rocket attack on the K1 base led to the U.S. airstrike against senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and the subsequent Iranian missile strike retaliation.
Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against the Islamic State, mainly providing training and advising for them.