The number of casualties may grow, as some remain in critical condition.
On Sunday, the US forces have carried out strikes targeting five Kata'ib Hezbollah facilities in Syria and Iraq, including weapons storage locations and command and control bases, the US Defence Department said in a statement. The Pentagon said it was retaliation for the group's recent attack on a US base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
#BREAKING: According to the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi (#PMU) total 19 members of 45th and 46th Brigades are killed and 35 others got injured during the #USAF airstrikes against their bases in #Iraq & #Syria. pic.twitter.com/i1UA3X293e— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) December 29, 2019
On Friday, the US accused Kata'ib Hezbollah of involvement in a deadly rocket attack on the K1 military base outside Kirkuk. The attack claimed the life of a US civilian contractor and left several US service members with light injuries.
No group took immediate responsibility for Friday's attack.
Kata'ib Hezbollah, not to be confused with the Hezbollah group of Lebanon, is a paramilitary force with Shia ideology established in 2007 and operating under the Hashd al-Shaabi umbrella. Washington designates them as terrorists.