Iran-backed militant terror groups have promised to continue “painful strikes” against U.S. troops. A translation of the statement from the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, a coalition of militia groups that includes one deemed responsible for the Jan. 28 suicide drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan, read:
“The opportunity that the Islamic Resistance today granted to the occupation forces to leave the Holy Land as a lifeline, it did not obtain yesterday.”
The remarks refer to earlier communications in which the coalition said it would suspend military operations on Jan. 30 as the U.S. threatened significant retaliation. In essence, the group said ‘do not defend yourself or retaliate against our terror attacks.’
Because the U.S. forces did respond and did not vacate the region, “painful strikes and broad attacks” will come, the Islamic Resistance said in a statement. The militants mourned the death of a senior militia leader of Kataib Hezbollah, one of the major groups in the coalition, at the hands of the U.S. military.
According to The Associated Press U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces killed Abu Baqir Al-Saadi in a targeted drone strike on Wednesday after the Pentagon assessed he planned and directed the deadly Jan. 28 attacks. Al-Saadi is the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s Syria operations.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that the U.S. carried out a large-scale wave of strikes on Iran-backed militants in Iraq and Syria and the Iranian military command that oversees Tehran’s proxy operations on Friday in response to the Jan. 28 suicide drone bombing that caused the first U.S. fatalities since the escalation of attacks. An Iran-backed drone crashed into a living quarters on Jordan’s Tower 22 base, killing three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers and injured at least 40.
Biden administration officials at the time said more retaliation was to come.
“Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing,” President Joe Biden saidFriday after the first — and so far only — wave of strikes.
The Pentagon said the attack bore the “fingerprints” of Kataib Hezbollah but eventually attributed the operation to the Islamic Resistance broadly. Kataib Hezbollah then said it would stop military and security activities aimed at U.S. troops, Reuters reported, as the U.S. is preparing what appears to be a sweeping response to the deaths of U.S. military personnel.