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People's Daily Online

U.S. airstrikes hit Iraqi paramilitary headquarters

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:55, March 13, 2020

BAGHDAD, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military carried out overnight airstrikes on paramilitary Hashd Shaabi headquarters south of Baghdad, the Iraqi military said on Friday.

"At 1:15 a.m. local time (1015 GMT Thursday) there were U.S. airstrikes on headquarters of Hashd Shaabi, emergency regiments and commandos of the army's 19th Division, in the areas of Jurf al-Sakhar, Musayib, Najaf and Askanriyah," the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a brief statement.

The airstrikes came after Wednesday's rocket attack on Camp Taji north of Baghdad that killed two U.S. soldiers and one British service member and wounded a dozen others.

The military bases housing U.S. troops across Iraq and the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad have been frequently targeted by insurgent mortar and rocket attacks.

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution on Jan. 5 requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, just two days after a U.S. drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Hashd Shaabi forces.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against the Islamic State, mainly for training and advisory purposes.

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