Alwaght- Head of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Committee warned of a strong response against American forces in Iraq following US air strikes in Iraq that hit several bases of Iraqi popular forces and killed at least 25 people.
“The blood of the martyrs will not be in vain and our response will be very tough on the American forces in Iraq,” senior commander Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, said late on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, US forces conducted drone strikes on a number of Kata'ib Hezbollah bases in Iraq's western Anbar province, killing at least 25 individuals and leaving another 55 injured.
The targeted Kata'ib Hezbollah forces belonged to brigades 45 and 46 of the Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
Iraqi security sources said on Monday that U.S. forces in Iraq’s northerly Nineveh province were ramping up security overnight, with US-led coalition jets circling the perimeter of its military bases in Mosul and Qayarah.
The PMF played key role in retaking a third of Iraq from ISIS terrorist group, helping secure victory against the militants.
They were later formally integrated into Iraq’s official security structure and also wield large political influence.
Iraq’s Fatih alliance, which holds the second-largest number of seats in parliament called the air strikes an attack on Iraq’s sovereignty.
“The insolent attack by American forces on security forces which targeted the 45th and 46th brigades of the Popular Moralization Forces in the Qaim area is an attack on national sovereignty and on Iraq’s dignity,” it said in a statement.
Following the strikes, the Pentagon issued a statement saying that it had targeted three locations of the Iraqi fighters in Iraq and two in Syria in response to alleged attacks targeting American forces.
The air raids were welcomed by Israel's foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, who described the event as a "turning point in the regional response to Iran and its proxies".
Washington and Tel Aviv regularly label popular resistance movements opposed to US presence in Iraq as "Iran-led terrorist groups", a label which has been vehemently rejected by Iraqi officials.