US Says Air Strikes on PMU ‘Successful’


US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday said air strikes against Iraq’s paramilitary force, known as Hadh Shaabi, succeeded, and he did not rule out additional action “as necessary.”

“The strikes were successful. The pilots and aircraft returned back to base safely,” Esper told reporters adding that after F-15 jet fighters hit five targets associated with Kata’ib Hezbollah in Western Iraq and Eastern Syria.

He claimed that the targets were either command and control facilities or weapons caches for the group, which is also called Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

The Pentagon announced the strikes earlier.

Esper said that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had travelled to Florida, where President Donald Trump has been spending the Christmas holidays, to brief him on the latest Middle East events.

“We discussed with him other options that are available,” Esper said. “And I would note also that we will take additional actions as necessary to ensure that we act in our own self-defense and we deter further bad behavior from militia groups or from Iran.”

Source: Agencies


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