A suspected United States drone strike targeted a vehicle west of Baghdad near the Abu Ghraib highway, which is believed to be connected to Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Shia militia in Iraq. Following the strike, a USAF AC-130J gunship was observed flying over Ramadi and Abu Ghraib, visible on commercial flight tracking systems. While there were reports of additional strikes and potential anti-aircraft gunfire, it remains unconfirmed whether the AC-130J engaged any targets.
- Drone Strike Near Baghdad: The drone strike occurred around 0430 local time, targeting a vehicle along the Abu Ghraib highway, west of Baghdad.
- Kataib Hezbollah’s Involvement: Initial reports suggest the targeted vehicle was affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah, a group known for its role in the 2020 siege of the American embassy in Baghdad and its ties to Iran.
- USAF AC-130J Gunship Sighting: Following the drone strike, a USAF AC-130J, typically used in covert operations, was spotted flying over the areas of Ramadi and Abu Ghraib, a rare public appearance for such an aircraft.
- Unconfirmed Engagement: Despite reports of further strikes and potential militia anti-aircraft fire, there is no confirmed engagement by the AC-130J gunship following its sighting.
- Increased Military Activity: The sighting of the AC-130J gunship and the drone strike indicates a period of heightened military activity and surveillance in the region.