Two prominent leaders in Iraq were assassinated by a US drone strike on their car in Eastern Baghdad, this Wednesday, leading to an initial wave of street protests and potentially initiated a renewed escalation of the Gaza-Israel war. Western media have attempted to sanitize the strikes, which represent a clear violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and an act of war against crucial components of the nation’s security apparatus.
On Wednesday night in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, a quick succession of explosions were reported by locals in the city’s eastern Mashtal neighborhood. Emerging shortly after this were videos showing a civilian car that had been targeted by American drone strikes, inside the vehicle were two prominent leaders of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Bakr al-Saadi and Arkan al-Alawi. Both belonged to the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, with the primary target seemingly being Abu Bakr al-Saadi, as according to unnamed US officials that spoke to the Washington Post the target was a single leader.
In Western corporate media, the assassination strike is described in a tone which attempts to justify it. Reuters for example reported that Abu Bakr al-Saadi, a senior commander of “an Iran-backed armed group in Iraq that the Pentagon linked to an attack that killed three U.S. troops, died in a drone strike on a vehicle“. Note here that the word “died” instead of killed is used and the Hezbollah Brigades are described as “an Iran-backed armed group”, despite the fact that the group is a leading faction within the PMF; which is an official arm of the Iraqi State’s security apparatus.
This is the third assassination attack that has been carried out by the US Air Force in Iraq, in addition to last week’s series of airstrikes that struck across Syria and Iraq. Last week’s strikes were said to have killed as many as 30 Iraqis and Syrians, some members of the Syrian Arab Army and PMF, while at least 6 civilians were said to have been murdered. The large scale attack that was quickly announced publicly by US Central Command, was said to be part of a retaliation to a drone strike that was launched against a US military facility, known as ‘Tower 22’, located along the Jordanian-Syrian border. The suicide drone attack, launched by the Iraqi Islamic Resistance that has conducted over 160 attacks on US and Israeli targets in support of Gaza since October 8, killed 3 US service members and wounded at least 40.
While the Kingdom of Jordan initially rejected the claims that US forces were killed on its soil, it later acknowledged the attack had occurred and allegedly participated in strikes against Syrian and Iraqi targets. The US were quick to reject the notion that its soldiers may have died on Syrian soil, because most Americans aren’t even aware that US soldiers are operating illegally inside of Syrian territory and that Washington decided to occupy a third of Syrian territory without any congressional approval.