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US Sanctions Iran-Backed Militia Conducting Strikes Against American Forces
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By Associated Press
Published 5 months ago on
November 17, 2023

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. on Friday imposed sanctions on six people affiliated with the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Kataeb Hezbollah, which is accused of being behind a spate of recent attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria following the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas against Israel.

Included in the sanctions are the militia’s foreign affairs chief, a member of its governing council, its military commander and a media spokesman. The sanctions block access to U.S. property and bank accounts and prevent the targeted people and companies from doing business with Americans.

A spate of drone attacks hit U.S. bases in Iraq as recently as Friday, as regional tensions have flared up following the bloody war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Recent Attacks on US Bases

Two U.S. defense officials confirmed three additional attacks on U.S. military facilities in Iraq and Syria on Friday, bringing the total number of attacks on U.S. and coalition military facilities in Iraq and Syria to at least 60. The three bases attacked as of Friday included: a one-way drone targeted Al Harir air base in Erbil, with no casualties reported, but an infrastructure damage assessment was still ongoing; an attack by multiple one-way drones at Al Asad air base in Iraq that resulted in no injuries or infrastructure damage; and another multiple one-way drone attack at Tall Baydar, Syria, that resulted in minor injuries to one service member who was able to return to duty, one of the defense officials said.

Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have threatened to attack U.S. facilities there because of American support for Israel.

Background of Kataeb Hezbollah

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says Kataeb Hezbollah is supported by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. And the State Department has previously designated it as a terrorist organization.

Brian E. Nelson, Treasury’s under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said the U.S. is “fully committed to security and stability in the Middle East and are steadfast in our efforts to disrupt these destabilizing activities.”

Impact of the War in Gaza

At least 11,470 Palestinians — two-thirds of them women and minors — have been killed since the war in Gaza began, according to Palestinian health authorities, who do not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths. About 2,700 people are reported missing.

Some 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial attack, and about 240 were taken captive by militants.

 

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