American Drone Pilots Pick Up Targets by the Dozen

President Biden has been telegraphing the American response to the Iranian-backed attacks on US troops in Iraq and the drone attacks in Jordan that left three troops dead. With a “no boots in combat” pledge, US servicemembers flying drones have been taking out targets left and right.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) surprised Americans with a press release on February 7th.

“At 9:30 p.m. February 7, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq in response to the attacks on U.S. service members, killing a Kata’ib Hezbollah commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on U.S. forces in the region. There are no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties at this time. The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect our people. We will not hesitate to hold responsible all those who threaten our forces’ safety.”

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was the owner of the vehicle, and the remains of at least three people inside have been identified. Two are known Kataib Hezbollah militant group senior commanders, Abu Baqir Al-Saadi and Arkan Al-Alawi. Abu is known to be at the top of Kataib Hezbollah’s Syria operations, with Kataib allegedly the commander of Hezbollah drone forces.

With 2,500 troops in Iraq and 900 in Syria, thousands in Kuwait, and many more in smaller outposts across the Middle East, the US military has been ready and actively responding to threats as needed. As many of the drone pilots are operating remotely from across the globe, they have been tracking and advancing on targets by the dozen. As American drones are (currently) not being used on suicide missions (like the one in Jordan), this means drone operators can potentially strike multiple targets on one mission.