Holy SMOKING HOLE, there’s nothing but good news today!
First the NY wind farm blows over, then the NJ gov’s bloviating, holier-than-thou facade blows up, and now?
The Biden administration finally grew a pair and blew a hole in an Iranian-backed militia leader’s evil dreams of death and destruction right in the middle of his headquarters’ driveway IN Baghdad.
A US airstrike in Baghdad on Thursday killed the commander of an Iranian-backed Shia militia that Washington blames for attacks on American forces in the region, according to US officials.
One official said that a leader of Harakat al-Nujaba, whom the official did not name, was killed in his car as he was about to enter the garage at his group’s Baghdad headquarters. News footage from Baghdad showed damage to the building. Harakat al-Nujaba, which has been active in Syria and Iraq, is loyal to Tehran but also forms part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a collection of largely autonomous militias. The airstrike prompted outrage from the Iraqi government, who called it a “dangerous escalation and aggression”.
OMG – I have to give myself a moment to recover from the shock here.
Alright, I’m back.
Look at this – dang. It’s everything and more that I could have hoped for, and have been praying for since they started lobbing nasty things at our outposts and bases there and in Syria.
#BREAKING: The US military conducted a precision strike in Baghdad, targeting and killing a high-ranking leader of the Iranian-backed Harakat al Nujaba militia, along with another individual, in retaliation for repeated attacks on American forces in Iraq. -Reuters pic.twitter.com/vTVrBrrXdm
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) January 4, 2024
About damn time. This is only the 7th strike since October when there have been 115 attacks on our people and assets in Syria and Iraq.
And if you listen to the Valley Girl they have doing the briefings at the Department of Defense, you can understand why these militias think it’s open-season on Americans.
[CUE: insert eyeroll]
“There have been 66 attacks by Iranian-backed militia groups on U.S. coalition forces since October 17. Why aren’t these U.S. counterstrikes working as a deterrence strategy?”
Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh: “We have days sometimes where we don’t have attacks” pic.twitter.com/YOR2sK11jU
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 21, 2023
I mean…whut in the Sam hell is that?
No wonder our folks are in such danger.
🚨🚨🚨Three US troops injured in a one-way drone attack in northern Iraq on Christmas Day, according to the NSC.
One service member “critically” injured.
Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups claimed credit for the attack.
Biden ordered strikes against…
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) December 26, 2023
As a WSJ op-ed presciently points out today…
…Iranian leaders work with Lenin’s dictum that “you probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.”
Tehran and its proxies are pressing their attacks because they haven’t confronted steel. The ability to stop such probing generally depends on a swift and violent counterattack. Delaying and equivocating usually means the response needed to re-establish deterrence has to be much larger than it would have been if it had been applied in a timely manner. As a military officer, I have observed such hesitancy and lack of strategic clarity across several presidential administrations. In 2019, an early and sharp response to Iranian provocation might have ended the escalatory spiral well before the U.S. had to strike Soleimani and accept the possibility of theater war.
All anyone has found so far is mush when they push the Biden administration. Go figure.
As much as I’d like to believe the strike was all pay-back, it was also a hefty dose of prudent. They’ve allowed these militias to become so emboldened with little to no consequences, that I don’t believe there’s much that’s off the table for them. As our winken Blinken Secretary of State is due in the region shortly for another round of toothless mewling, I’m sure one or two semi-rational heads in the administration felt a spanking would give notice to interested parties that we hadn’t sent all our assets to Ukraine, and were willing to use them once in a blue moon.
Plus, I’m thinking the drone operators could sure use the practice.
…The attack on an Iranian proxy came on the day the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, was due to leave on a new tour of the Middle East, at a time when it is in ever-rising danger of sliding into a regional conflict. In the days before the Baghdad strike, more than 80 Iranians were killed in an apparent suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State, Israel killed a Hamas leader with a missile strike in the Beirut suburbs, and the US issued a joint threat with 11 of its allies to attack positions held by the Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen if there were further Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea.
Blinken’s latest trip will take him to Israel and the West Bank, as well as Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the space of the week. The state department said Blinken’s priorities for the mission included further efforts to stop the three-month-old war in Gaza spreading, and to improve the humanitarian situation inside Gaza, where more than 2.2 million people face imminent famine.
Asked how the aim of averting a broader conflict squared with Thursday’s airstrike against an Iranian ally, the state department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said: “We want to prevent the conflict from spreading, but part of that means that people need to stop taking strikes against our soldiers. And if they take strikes against our soldiers, we’re going to do what we need to protect ourselves, as any country would do.”
Naturally, Iraqis are outraged – “US must leave Iraq argle-bargle-argle-bargle!” – but this wasn’t meant for them.
1) On the U.S. strike in Baghdad that killed Abu Taqwa Al Si’adi, a commander of the Iranian-backed Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba militia. First, Si’adi is a mid-level commander. this strike clearly was a message to militias: we can go after your top leaders.…
— Bill Roggio (@billroggio) January 4, 2024
It was a specifically targeted message for their Iranian compadres, who more and more seem to have run of the country.
WE CAN GO AFTER YOUR TOP LEADERS and this guy was a nasty piece of business.
…Thursday’s strike marked just the seventh by the U.S. against the Iranian-backed militias, which have launched 115 attack on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. The first six U.S. attacks targeted weapons storage facilities, safe houses or vehicles involved in attacks. This was the first to target a commander of the militias.
…The Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba commander who was killed was Abu Taqwa Al Si’adi, according to Entifadh Qanbar, the President of the Kurdish Protection Action Committee. The strike killed Si’adi and his driver as they entered the headquarters of the Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba in Baghdad, according to Qanbar.
According to Qanbar, Si’adi was “a notorious terrorist” who was “very close to Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis,” the former head of the Popular Mobilization Forces who was killed by the U.S. military on Jan. 3, 2020 alongside Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps leader General Qassem Soleimani. Muhandis and Soleimani were responsible for establishing the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.
To take him out in a driveway IN Baghdad?
Bravo Zulu to the drone crew. Magnificent job.