New Delhi, Jan 31: Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia in Iraq, declared on Tuesday the suspension of its military operations targeting US forces in the region. This decision comes just two days after a drone attack claimed the lives of three US service members and left numerous others wounded.
In a statement, Kataib Hezbollah explained the temporary cessation of military and security operations against the US troops to prevent embarrassment to the Iraqi government.
The group asserted its commitment to defending its people in Gaza through alternative means and recommended that the Free Hezbollah Brigades adopt a passive defence stance if faced with any hostile American actions.
Kataib Hezbollah holds a significant position within the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella organization comprising various Iran-backed militants in the country. The US has consistently attributed responsibility to Iran for arming and supporting these groups, singling out Kataib Hezbollah as the likely perpetrator of the recent fatal attack.
CNN reported that Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, when asked about the announcement, responded at a briefing on Tuesday, stating, "We’ve seen those reports. I don’t have a specific comment to provide other than actions speak louder than words." Ryder emphasized the US's clear call for Iranian proxy groups to cease their attacks, highlighting that the response would occur at a time and manner of the US's choosing.
US officials reported approximately 166 attacks on US troops in the Middle East since October, including three attacks since the recent drone strike that claimed three American lives in Jordan.
An adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, Hisham Al-Rikabi, credited Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani's efforts, both domestically and internationally, as instrumental in achieving this development.