An Iraqi armed group calling itself Saraya Awli’a al-Dam [the Custodian of Blood Regiments] has reportedly vowed to shot down US warplanes in response to the June 27 strikes which targeted positions of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Four fighters of the PMU were killed as a result of the US strikes. Unidentified fighters shelled a base of the US military in northeastern Syria in response. The base was badly damaged.
On April 30, social media accounts affiliated with Saraya Awil’a al-Dam revealed that the group is determined to shot down a US warplane.
The Sabereen News channel on Telegram also shared an illustration poster showing a fighter of Saraya Awil’a al-Dam shooting down a US military helicopter with a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD).
Saraya Awil’a al-Dam is one of several pro-Iranian groups which were established following the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, and Iran’s Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani on January 3 of 2020. The group’s cells attacked several US supply convoys in different parts of Iraq in the last few months.
Pro-Iranian groups in Iraq targeted US warplanes in the past. The main aim of these attacks is to force US troops out from the country.