A Pentagon official has confirmed that the U.S. military just carried out airstrikes against Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq and Syria.
The airstrikes were in retaliation to drone attacks on American personnel by the militia groups.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby stated on Sunday that the selected targets were weapons storage and operational facilities used by the militias.
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Each strike reportedly hit its intended target.
Kirby said that President Joe Biden, who authorized the strikes, “directed further military action to disrupt and deter” attacks on U.S. facilities and personnel in Iraq.
“We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq for the sole purpose of assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in their efforts to defeat ISIS,” he said. “The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation – but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message.”
The Syrian state news agency, SANA, reported that a child and three other civilians were injured, but that has not been independently confirmed by NBC News.via NBC
Sunday’s airstrikes mark the second time the Biden administration has launched similar attacks in and around Syria.
Iraq’s military issued a rare statement following the attack.
“We condemn the U.S. air attack that targeted a site on the Iraqi-Syrian border last night, which represents a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and national security in accordance with all international conventions,” a spokesperson for Iraq’s armed forces commander in chief stated.
“Iraq renews its refusal to be an arena for settling accounts, and clings to its right to sovereignty over its lands, and prevents it from being used as an arena for reactions and attacks.”
The Pentagon has said that the U.S. was acting in self-defense, and that the strikes were “necessary” to address the threat.