5 paramilitary fighters killed in U.S. airstrike in N. Iraq

Baghdad: Five members of the Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces were killed on Sunday in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk, according to a statement by an Iraqi armed group named “Islamic Resistance in Iraq.”

The statement did not provide further details, but the group threatened the U.S. forces “with more painful strikes until they withdraw from the country.”

A drone bombarded in the evening a position of the al-Nujaba Movement, affiliated with the Hashd Shaabi forces, in the al-Debis area, northwest of the namesake provincial capital, Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, said an Iraqi army officer who wished to remain anonymous.

On Nov. 22, U.S. aircraft attacked positions of the Hashd Shaabi forces in the Jurf al-Nasr area, south of Baghdad, leaving eight of its fighters killed and wounding four others.

“The Islamic Resistance in Iraq” claimed in an online statement on Sunday that its fighters fired rockets on a U.S. military airbase in the Kharab al-Jir area in northeast Syria and hit their targets, without giving further details.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, confirmed that rockets believed to be from the group landed at a U.S. airbase in the Kharab al-Jir area in Syria’s northeastern province of al-Hasakah.

While casualties haven’t been reported yet, the attacks are believed to be part of a series of retaliatory measures against the U.S. forces amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, said the observatory.

The incident marked the 47th recorded attack on the U.S. bases in Syria since Oct. 19, it added.

UNI/XINHUA

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