Kataib Hezbollah suspends military operations against US forces

Militia says decision was made to prevent 'any embarrassment' to Iraqi government

A fighter from the Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah militant group inspects the site of a US air strike, in Hilla, Iraq, on December 26.  Reuters
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The militant group Kataib Hezbollah announced on Tuesday that it is suspending military operations against US forces in Syria and Iraq.

The group made the decision to prevent “any embarrassment” to the Iraqi government, it said in a statement.

Although it will suspend attacks on US forces in the region, Kataib Hezbollah said it would "continue to defend our people in Gaza in other ways".

After the announcement, the US said would hold any organisations responsible for attacks on American personnel in the region accountable.

“We have said that we want to see the government of Iraq do more to hold accountable, to investigate, to arrest or prosecute those who are responsible for attacks on US forces,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

Defence Department press secretary Maj Gen Pat Ryder said the Pentagon does not have a specific comment "other than actions speak louder than words".

Designated as a terrorist organisation by the US in 2009, Kataib Hezbollah is a powerful armed faction of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

The decision comes days after three US troops were killed by a drone strike in north-eastern Jordan, which the Pentagon said had the "footprints" of Kataib Hezbollah.

The Pentagon said a final assessment has not been made on who was behind the attack.

Kataib Hezbollah and other militant groups in Iraq and Syria have carried out attacks on US personnel in the Middle East since October 7, in response to Washington's support for Israel's war in Gaza.

The US imposed sanctions on Kataib Hezbollah for supporting Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force and its auxiliary groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Updated: January 30, 2024, 7:48 PM