The US to send additional troops to the Middle East
The Defense Secretary of the Unıted States Mark Esper said in a statement that approximately 750 troops from a rapid response unit of the 82nd Airborne Division are prepared to deploy over the next several days to the region.
"The Department of Defense is working closely with the Department of State to ensure the security of our Embassy and personnel in Baghdad. We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in country, and to ensure our right of self-defense," the statement said.
Stating that they are sending additional forces to support their personnel at the Embassy, Esper said: "As in all countries, we rely on host nation forces to assist in the protection of our personnel in country, and we call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its international responsibilities to do so."
On the other hand, in a statement posted on the official Twitter account of the United States Marine Corps., it was stated that the troops from its crisis response command in Kuwait were deployed to Iraq.
On 29 December 2019, the United States bombed the headquarters of of Kata'eb Hezbollah. The airstrikes targeted three Kata'eb Hezbollah locations in Iraq near Al-Qaim, and two in Syria, and included weapons depots and command posts. The attack was carried out on the pretext of retaliation after a barrage of over 30 rockets were fired towards the K-1 two days earlier and other attacks on bases with US forces in Iraq. The earlier attack killed a US contractor and wounded several Iraqi and US soldiers. Iraq's Health Ministry reported that 28 people were killed and 48 wounded in the attack.
In response to the American bombing of the Kata'ib Hezbollah headquarters, protesters attacked the US embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad on 31 December 2019. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Kata'eb Hezbollah commander, was also among the the protesters. (ILKHA)