Iran-backed Iraqi militia vows revenge after US airstrikes

BAGHDAD — An Iranian-backed militia said Monday that the death toll from U.S. military strikes in Iraq and Syria against its fighters has risen to 25, vowing to exact revenge for the “aggression of evil American ravens.”

The U.S. attack — the largest yet targeting an Iraqi state-sanctioned militia — and the calls for retaliation, represent a new escalation in the proxy war between the U.S. and Iran playing out in the Middle East that could threaten U.S. interests in the region.

The calls for revenge in Baghdad came a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Washington had carried out military strikes targeting the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia it had blamed for a rocket attack that killed an American contractor in Iraq last week.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the strikes send the message that the U.S. will not tolerate actions by Iran that jeopardize American lives.

The

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