A US drone strike in Baghdad killed a senior militia leader on Thursday, marking another significant escalation that could lead to a full-blown regional war.
The strike killed Mushtaq Talib al-Saidi, also known as Abu Taqwa, a deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) operations in Baghdad. The PMF is a coalition of mostly Shia Iraqi militias that are part of the government’s security forces.
At least one other militia member was killed in the strike, which targeted a PMF base in Baghdad. Later on Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed it was responsible for the bombing.
The Pentagon claims Abu Taqwa was believed to be responsible for attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria that started in October in response to US support for Israel’s onslaught in Gaza, but the US has not provided any evidence for the assertion.
The drone strike has enraged the Iraqi government, which condemned it as a “flagrant violation of the sovereignty and security of Iraq” and said it was “no different from a terrorist act.”