The U.S. military has carried out a strike in Baghdad against an Iraqi militia leader it blames for attacks against U.S. forces in the country, killing him, a U.S. official said Thursday.
The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the strike hit a vehicle in Baghdad. It targeted a leader of Harakat al Nujaba, the official said, without naming the person.
At least four militia fighters were killed and six others wounded in the drone strike, police and security sources told Reuters.
Police sources and eyewitnesses said at least two rockets struck inside a building used by Iraqi militia group.
A local commander and one of his aides were killed in the strike, said police and the group's spokesperson. The death toll later rose to four after one fighter died of his wounds. Health sources confirmed the toll.
The spokesperson and two Iraqi militia commanders threatened to retaliate against the U.S. for the attack.
"We will retaliate and make the Americans regret carrying out this aggression," said Abu Aqeel al-Moussawi, a local Iraqi militia commander.
Police and militia sources said rockets targeted a vehicle inside the Nujaba'a headquarters killing a local commander of the group and one of his aides. Two other members of the group were killed in the strike.
Video footage published by pro-militia websites showed a destroyed vehicle in flames and claimed it was targeted during the strike.
Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the footages.
Iraqi security forces were deployed in the area and a security team has reached the site for initial investigation, said two security sources.
Last month, the United States carried out retaliatory air strikes in Iraq after a drone attack by Iran-aligned militants that left one U.S. service member in critical condition and wounded two others.
The U.S. military has already come under attack at least 100 times in Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas war began in October, usually with a mix of rockets and one-way attack drones.
The United States has 900 troops in Syria and 2,500 in Iraq on a mission it says aims to advise and assist local forces trying to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State, which in 2014 seized large swaths of both countries before being defeated.
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