The U.S. launched an airstrike against Iranian-backed forces in the first military action at the direction of President Biden.
- The U.S. bombed Iranian-backed forces based in Syria.
- This was the first military action authorized by President Biden.
- The Pentagon states the airstrike was a response to a rocket attack in Iraq against American personnel.
On Thursday, the United States has carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria attacking Iranian-backed militia groups near the Iraqi border. This is the first known military action launched by President Biden, FOX News reports.
During the airstrike, American F15 fighter jets struck multiple facilities near the border, aiming at the Shia militia groups, Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada. These particular organizations are suspected of being funded and receiving military support from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
The airstrikes were later confirmed by the Defense Department.
According to the senior official, who described the attack as a “shot across the bow,” it was a defensive strategy aiming to stop Iran from launching rockets at U.S. forces in the region.
The Pentagon said the airstrike was a response to a rocket attack in Iraq that killed several people, including an American service member and several American contractors.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated:
“These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel.”
On Monday, two rockets hit the U.S.’ Green Zone in Baghdad. The rockets landed near the U.S. embassy, marking the third attack of its kind within a week. There were no reporter casualties. However, a rocket fired in Erbil, Iraq last week, killed several people. There were an American service member and several American contractors amongst the casualties.
Ned Price, a State Department spokesman, commented:
“We are outraged by the recent attacks. When it comes to our response, we will respond in a way that is calculated, within our own timetable, and using a mix of tools at a time and place of our choosing. What will not do is lash out and risk an escalation that plays into the hands of Iran and contributes to their attempts to further destabilize Iraq.”
“The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to deescalate the overall situation in both Eastern Syria and Iraq.”
Security officials said that the extent of the damage and the number of casualties in the Thursday’s airstrike will be revealed after a bomb assessment is complete.