Air strike kills at least five militants in northern Iraq

The strike comes after Iranian proxy groups claimed responsibility for two attacks against US troops in Iraq and Syria

Iraqis attend the funeral of the Kataib Hezbollah members in Najaf, Iraq, on November 22, after US air strikes.  AP
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A US air strike in northern Iraq killed five militants, Central Command said, in a "self defence" strike as the militants "prepared to launch a one-way attack drone."

The air strike hit militiamen on Sunday in Kirkuk province, according to a Centcom statement, which is affiliated with Iran-backed Shiite militias.

"Iraqi Security Forces were notified of the strike and responded to the location, where they confirmed the death of the militants and the destruction of the drone. The United States will continue to defend US and coalition personnel from attacks," the statement read.

The air strike came after the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a network of Tehran-allied militias, claimed responsibility for a drone attack on US troops in northern Iraq and a rocket attack in Syria.

Iran's proxy groups have increased drone and drone attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria due to Washington's support of Israel in the Israel-Gaza war, which began after Hamas operatives killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, in Israel on October 7.

The attacks against US forces have hit Ain Al Asad in western Iraq, a military base near Baghdad's international airport, and Harir airport in the northern city of Erbil, as well as bases inside Syria.

At least 62 US personnel have suffered minor injuries or traumatic brain injuries in the attacks, according to the Pentagon.

In retaliation, the US carried out three limited air strikes in Syria, but late last month it expanded these attacks to Iraq, killing at least nine militiamen.

Iraqi militia groups have vowed to increase their attacks.

Updated: December 05, 2023, 2:15 PM