A US military strike killed a Kataib Hezbollah commander in Iraq on Wednesday night who was responsible for attacks on US forces in the region, according to US Central Command.
The attack was carried out by a drone against a vehicle in Baghdad, according to US and Iraqi officials. There are no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties, Central Command said in its statement.
Iraqi police said there was at least one other person inside the vehicle who has not been identified.
“We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces’ safety,” Central Command said.
The identity of the commander has not yet been released. Local police officials in Baghdad said on Wednesday that the strike hit an SUV in the Al-Mashtal, a predominantly Shia neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.
The strike came as the US has been planning retaliatory attacks against Iran-backed militants who launched a drone at a US outpost in Jordan last month that killed 3 American soldiers.
The US has blamed that attack on an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.
A CNN team on the ground in Baghdad heard at least two loud explosions in quick succession around 9:30 p.m. local time.
The two people who were inside the vehicle have not been identified because the bodies were completely charred from a fire that erupted from the strike, the police said.
But a senior local security source and a senior source with the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) told CNN that a senior leader with the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia was killed in the attack.
The US conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria last week targeting seven facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated militias in retaliation for the deadly drone attack in Jordan.