Four members of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia were killed in US airstrikes in western Iraq’s Anbar province near the Syrian border, according to a statement and a military source.

A statement released by the Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, a faction of Hashd al-Shaabi, stated that “four members of the forces were killed as a result of the American aggression.”

The statement threatened that the faction will go to “an open war with the American occupation.”

An Iraqi military source told Anadolu Agency that US airstrikes targeted sites where Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada’s fighters are deployed on the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The source, who preferred not to be named as he was not authorized to speak with the media, said “the strikes caused the death of four members and the injury of three others.”

The Iraqi authorities did not issue a statement regarding the airstrikes.

Earlier on Monday, the US announced in a statement by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby that it launched targeted airstrikes “against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region.”

Kirby said: “As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks.”

Military sites housing US forces as well as US Embassy in Baghdad have recently come under rocket attacks, which Washington blames for Shia armed factions linked to Iran.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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