The United States military on Thursday carried out a military airstrike against two Iranian-backed militia groups as a form of retaliation for a recent rocket strike in Erbil in northern Iraq
that threatened the lives of several Americans, leaving them injured.
A US official revealed that scores of militias lost their lives in the airstrike that targeted structures in the eastern Syrian town of Al Bukamal. Those facilities belonged to Iranian-backed militias who had attacked the US Embassy and other American properties in Baghdad, CNN
John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement issued Thursday night, “At President (Joe) Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria.
“These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).”
Kirby said the strike was carried out following due process while also reiterating that Biden will not hesitate to safeguard the lives of Americans all over the globe.
“This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”
The site the US struck on Thursday is believed to be used as part of a weapons smuggling operation by the militias, another US official said. The strikes were conducted to degrade the groups’ ability to carry out attacks and to send a message about the recent attacks, the official said.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, explained that Biden approved the attack on Thursday morning, after he had recommended the President take action