A US drone strike in Baghdad has killed three members of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia, including a high-ranking commander, according to US officials.
The drone strike hit a car in the Iraqi capital – and was in response to a drone strike that killed three US troops in Jordan towards the end of January.
Sky News’s Alex Crawford arrived at the scene shortly after the blast and said there was “great tension” and a “great deal of anger towards America”.
Crowds gathered as emergency response teams picked through the wreckage.
The US has blamed the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a broad coalition of Iran-backed militias, for the attack in Jordan on its forces, and officials have said they suspect Kataib Hezbollah, in particular, of leading it.
The strike on Wednesday night hit a main road in the Mashtal neighbourhood in eastern Baghdad.
A US official said that a senior Kataib Hezbollah commander was targeted in the strike.
Two officials with Iran-backed militias in Iraq said that one of the three killed was Wissam Mohammed “Abu Bakr” al Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s operations in Syria.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to speak to journalists.
Security forces closed off the heavily guarded Green Zone, where a number of diplomatic compounds are located, amid calls for protesters to storm the US embassy.
Kataib Hezbollah earlier said in a statement that it was suspending attacks on American troops to avoid “embarrassing the Iraqi government” after the strike in Jordan, but others have vowed to continue fighting.