US military forces struck five Hezbollah targets Sunday in retaliation for an attack Friday on an Iraqi coalition base that killed one US civilian.
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said the locations – three in Iraq and two in Syria – included storage facilities and command-and-control centers that the Iranian proxy terror group uses to carry out attacks. The statement was conveyed in a news release.
“Iran and their [Hezbollah] proxy forces must cease their attacks on US and coalition forces, and respect Iraq’s sovereignty, to prevent additional defensive actions by US forces,” Hoffman said.
If American blood was shed by an Iran-backed group, Tehran ought to face swift and severe consequences. https://t.co/6dsEkQIgM9
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) December 28, 2019
The Iranian-backed “Popular Mobilization Forces” — an Iranian proxy militia in Iraq — said Sunday night that 25 fighters were killed and 51 others were injured in the US strikes, according to a report by Hebrew-language journalist Amichai Stein at Israel’s Kann public broadcasting network. The PMU said its forces “will respond” to the attack.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) December 29, 2019
The US strikes came two days after a rocket attack on an Iraqi Security Forces base, which houses coalition forces fighting the anti-ISIS campaign, in Kirkuk. The attack killed one American contractor and wounded several Iraqi troops.
On Saturday, after reports that an Iranian-backed proxy militia had launched the assault, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted that Iran should “face swift and severe consequences” if true.