Drone attack in Baghdad killed two senior Kataib Hezbollah commanders
The Iraqi government on Thursday denounced an American drone strike that killed two high-ranking militia leaders in Baghdad late on Wednesday, calling it a violation of sovereignty.
Military spokesman Maj Gen Yahya Rasool said the attack was “a clear assassination by launching an air strike in the midst of a residential area in Baghdad”.
Kataib Hezbollah leaders Wissam Mohammed Sabir Al Saiedi, known as Abu Bakir Al Saiedi, and Arkan Al Alyawi, were travelling in a car in the Iraqi capital’s eastern neighbourhood of Al Mashtal when it was struck by the missiles.
The strike “disregards the lives of civilians and international laws … violates the Iraqi sovereignty and threatens the peace and jeopardise the lives of our people”, Maj Gen Rasool added.
Mr Al Saiedi was a senior commander of the powerful Iran-backed Shiite militia, managed its external operation in Syria, overseeing missile power.
On January 27, Iraq and the US held the first round of talks to end the international coalition’s mission, with Baghdad expecting discussions to lead to a timetable for reducing coalition presence and to reach bilateral security agreements with state members.
The talks between Baghdad and Washington were paused when a drone attack hit US troops stationed in Jordan the following day, killing three and wounding more than 30.
Maj Gen Rasoul warned the attacks undermine relations with the US forces operating within the coalition formed in 2014 to fight ISIS and are dragging Iraq “into a cycle of violence”.
The attacks “are pushing the government to end the mission” of the US-led coalition in Iraq.