US soldiers clearing rubble at Ain al-Asad military airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, following rockets attack, January 13, 2020. (AFP)

January 6, 2022

Shiite paramilitary group Qasem al-Jabbarin with links to Iran-backed militias has taken responsibility for the recent attacks on bases hosting US forces in Iraq.

In a statement published by al-Mayadeen, Qasem al-Jabbarin (which means Smasher of the Oppressors) claimed responsibility for the Wednesday attacks on Ain al-Asad air base west of Baghdad.

The group said they launched a dozen rockets from a vehicle in the Bastamiya village, 25 kilometers west of the al-Heet (Hit) district in Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate.

US sources said the closest impact was around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the base.

According to a profile on the group by the Washington Institute, Qasem al-Jabbarin is a front group directed by Kataib Hezbollah that specializes in roadside bombings against Iraqi supply trucks servicing the US military in Iraq.

Kataib Hezbollah, itself is part of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, led by former Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis before he was killed alongside Qasem Soleimani in January 2020 by a US drone strike.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a briefing on Wednesday that the pace and frequency of such attacks have increased.

Iraqi militia groups aligned with Iran vowed to retaliate for the targeted killings Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

Iran International

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.