first published on January 2, 2020 by Will
The US has reportedly carried out a drone strike, killing Mohammed Redha, a senior leader of the Iranian-led Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) in Baghdad.
Multiple local sources including those within the PMU and Iraqi Military are claiming a drone strike killed the PMU head-of-protocol Redha, along with his entourage as they were attempting to leave Baghdad airport. To reemphasize, reports are claiming the the PMU leader, and some of his affiliates, were killed within or very near the BIAP complex.
US airstrikes have killed pro-Iranian Kaitab Hezbollah official Muhammad Reda and two bodyguards on the Baghdad Airport tonight. Reports that Muhammad Reda was behind the US embassy attack. Car and occupants were blown to pieces. pic.twitter.com/b37r1e9gsj
— WorldOnAlert (@worldonalert) January 2, 2020
Just yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned Iran that, “We will not accept continued attacks against our personnel and forces in the region … Attacks against us will be met with responses in the time, manner, and place of our choosing.”
Esper was referring to the PMU’s mob attack against the US Embassy in Baghdad as well as a recent deadly rocket attack that killed an American contractor and wounded four US troops.
Images are circulating on social media, showing burning wreckage and charred, mangled bodies, one of which is apparently Redha’s. Many of the reports indicate that two vehicles were destroyed in the strike, and the occupants included Redha’s bodyguards as well as other PMU and Kataib Hizbollah officials.
The US has deployed a 100 Marine quick reaction force, 650 Army paratroopers, and likely several more units the have yet to be officially reported.