• January 31, 2023

U.S. Launches Military Airstrikes Against Iranian-Backed Militants In Syria : NPR

After a rocket attack in Irbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on February 15, glass was broken. On Thursday, the US launched air strikes against Iranian-backed groups in eastern Syria in response to recent attacks against Americans in Iraq. Safin Hamed / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Safin Hamed / AFP via Getty Images

After a rocket attack in Irbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on February 15, glass was broken. On Thursday, the US launched air strikes against Iranian-backed groups in eastern Syria in response to recent attacks against Americans in Iraq.

Safin Hamed / AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 10:26 p.m. ET

The US launched air strikes in Syria on Thursday against Iran-backed militia groups in the Biden government’s first known offensive military operation.

The Department of Defense said the strikes were in response to recent missile strikes against Americans in Iraq, including one that a civil contractor Working with American forces was killed and several US soldiers were injured. Officials believe the February 15 attack in Erbil, Iraq, was carried out by Shiite militants.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby issued a statement describing the US operation as an “appropriate military response.”

Kirby said the strikes had destroyed several facilities at a border checkpoint in eastern Syria that are “used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada”.

Meanwhile, Kait’ib Hezbollah denied any involvement in the Erbil strike earlier this week.

“We have absolutely not targeted Erbil or the Green Zone and have no knowledge of the group that did this,” said Mohammed Mohi, spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah told Reuters, calling the comments “a rare direct disapproval”.

The February 15 attack in Erbil targeted a US military base at Erbil International Airport. Days later, north of Baghdad, another round of missiles hit a base where US forces were stationed, injuring at least one contractor.

The two strikes were followed on Monday by another missile attack in the Baghdad Green Zone.

On a flight from California to Washington, DC, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters the Pentagon was “confident that this target has been used by the same Shiite militants who carried it out”. [Feb. 15] Strikes “USA Today reported.

Austin, who says he recommended the action to Biden, added, “” We have said several times that we will respond on our timeline. We wanted to be sure that the connectivity was right, and we wanted to be sure that we had the right goals. ”

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