Middle East

Top Iranian-backed militia member killed in Iraq

Mohammed Ridha, Hashd al-Shaabi's head of protocol, reportedly killed in drone strike near Baghdad International Airport

Haydar Karaalp   | 03.01.2020
Top Iranian-backed militia member killed in Iraq

BAGHDAD 

A drone strike near Baghdad International Airport killed a top member of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi group, or Popular Mobilization Forces, local media reported Friday.

The strike was aimed at a vehicle carrying Mohammed Ridha, the group's head of public relations and protocol, and his foreign guests.

Three Katyusha rockets also struck the area, causing a massive explosion, the Iraqi government-affiliated Security Media Network said in a statement.

The statement said the strikes burned two vehicles and injured civilians.

On Tuesday, thousands of Iraqi protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound, protesting Sunday’s airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against the Kataib Hezbollah militia which killed at least 25 fighters.

The airstrikes were in response to a rocket attack Friday on a U.S. military base in Kirkuk blamed on Kataib Hezbollah.

Friday's attack killed one U.S. contractor and wounded four U.S. service members.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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