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.