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What’s next for Iraq and the US after drone strike killed militia leader?

The Iraqi government strongly condemned the US strike that killed Abu Baqir al-Saadi, as did Iran-backed militias in the country.
A portrait of Abu Baqr al-Saadi, a prominent leader of Kataib Hezbollah killed in a strike a day earlier by a US drone in Baghdad, is plastered on a car during his funeral in Baghdad, Feb. 8, 2024.

An Iraqi military spokesperson said on Thursday that the government of Iraq is compelled "more than ever" to “terminate” the US troop presence in the country following a US strike that killed a militia leader in Baghdad Wednesday night, further complicating efforts between Washington and Baghdad. 

Abu Baqir al-Saadi, a leader in the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah, was killed Wednesday night in a US drone strike on a vehicle he occupied. Kataib Hezbollah had been widely blamed for the Jan. 28 attack on a US base in Jordan that killed three American soldiers.

Reactions: The Iraqi government on Thursday condemned the strike.

“American forces has repeated irresponsibly all the actions that would undermine the established understandings and hinder the initiation of bilateral dialogue,” Iraqi military spokesperson Maj. Gen. Yehia Rasool said in a statement on Thursday.

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