25 fighters of the Iraqi Ktaib Hizballah organization were killed on Sunday night when US F-15E aircraft struck at a number of sites maintained by the organization. The US strikes were in retaliation for the killing of a US contractor and the wounding of four US service personnel in a Ktaib Hizballah rocket attack on Friday.
This is the first counter-strike by US forces on the Iran-aligned Iraqi Shia militias in a decade. It ushers in a new dynamic, in which the war against IS in Iraq looks likely to be overshadowed by a growing confrontation between Iran's proxies in Iraq and the 5200 strong US military presence in the country.
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Jonathan Spyer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis, and is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum and at the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy.