Iraq’s president, Abdul Latif Rashid, and the prime minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani, warned against Iraq becoming an arena of regional conflict.

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

The Biden administration launched 85 air strikes on Friday against small bases of the Party of God Brigades (Kata’ib Hizbullah), an Iraqi Shiite militia active in Iraq and Syria. The organization is likely the culprit in Sunday’s drone strike against the Tower 22 US base in the far north of Jordan on the border with Syria. The communique issued by something calling itself “the Islamic Resistance in Iraq” said that the strike had been in the cause of “resisting the American occupation forces in Iraq and the region, and in response to the massacres of the Zionist entity against our people in Gaza.”

US military jets over Iraq

Sot al-Iraq, an independent Baghdad daily, reported that the US counter-strike on Qaim on the border of Iraq and Syria killed two civilians and wounded 5 other people.

Although US military analysts and spokesmen will say that the US air strikes are aimed at degrading the militia’s capabilities and at deterring it from future such attacks, it isn’t very likely that either goal will be achieved in this way. Bombing guerrilla groups from 30,000 feet is as close to a futile military tactic as you can get. It is not as though these light, mobile forces were likely sitting around in their known bases and hideouts, oblivious that the US was coming for them.

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