Iran maintains influence in Iraq via the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a government-recognized coalition of militia groups that rose to prominence during the campaigns against the Islamic State.
The U.S. inflicted casualties on a militant group in Iraq on Tuesday in retaliation for a strike on American and allied forces at an airbase in the country.
“On 21 Nov. an AC-130 gunship engaged individuals responsible for launching a missile attack on U.S. and Coalition personnel at Al Assad Airbase, Iraq,” United States Central Command (CENTCOM) announced. “The gunship maintained visual confirmation of the individuals from the time of the launch to the time of engagement. This strike resulted in several enemy casualties.”
While CENTCOM did not identify the variant, the AC-130 is a heavily armed aircraft usually employed for “close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance,” the CIA states.
The Iranian-backed group fired on the base on Monday, at which time the gunship was airborne and able to identity the launch site, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters.
Iran maintains influence in Iraq via the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a government-recognized coalition of militia groups that rose to prominence during the campaigns against the Islamic State. Several of the PMF’s component organizations are loyal to Iran.
The strike marks the latest in a string of U.S. retaliatory measures as American forces in the Middle East have come under repeated attack since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict in early October.
At least 62 American servicemembers had sustained injuries in these attacks prior to the Monday attack on the airbase, according to The Hill.