News-CRUX-10     30th January 2024        

Context: Recently, three US military servicemen were killed in a drone attack on their outpost in Jordan, marking the first time that US soldiers have died in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

oThe strikes targeted Tower 22, a US military outpost (a smaller version of a military base) in Jordan. The country is bordered by Israel to its west, Saudi Arabia to its southeast, Iraq to its northeast and Syria to its north.

Islamic Resistance of Iraq (IRI)

  • About: In Iraq and Syria, US forces have come under repeated assault by a newly created group of Iran-backed militias known as the Islamic Resistance of Iraq.”
  • Iran's Anti-Western Alliance: The IRI is part of the 'Axis of Resistance,' a coalition of Iran-backed militias opposing Western and US influence, according to analysts.
  • Powerful Militias Integrated into the State: The IRI is considered a front for Iranian-backed factions within the powerful Hashd al-Shaabi militias, which wield significant military and political influence in Iraq.
  • IRI's Role in October 2023 Conflict: The term IRI encompasses all Iran-backed militias in Iraq, including their operations in Syria during the October 2023 conflict between Israel and Hamas.
  • Drone Attack: On October 17, the IRI claimed responsibility for a drone attack on Harir Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan, possibly linked to the Shiite group Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba.
  • Israel's Offensive and Regional Solidarity: Following Hamas attacks on Israel, the Israeli military's response triggered a continuing offensive in Gaza. 

oIran-backed groups like Hezbollah and the Houthis launched counter-attacks in solidarity with Palestine, contributing to the escalating conflict.

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