On Thursday, President Biden ordered military airstrikes, targeting “multiple facilities” used by Iranian militia groups in eastern Syria, according to the Pentagon.
The strikes were in response to recent attacks against American and U.S.-led Coalition personnel in Iraq and to “ongoing threats” to those personnel, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement Thursday evening.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement Thursday evening that the airstrikes were in retaliation to the recent attacks against American and U.S.-led Coalition personnel in Iraq and to “ongoing threats” to those personnel.
“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria,” Kirby said, adding:
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 “proportionate military response” was conducted simultaneously with diplomatic advances, including deliberation 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,” Kirby said. He callled the airstrikes a “defensive precision strike.”
According to the Washington Post, the strike “was believed to have killed up to a handful of people.”
A U.S. contractor was killed and injured a U.S. service member earlier this month, when a rocket attack hit in northern Iraq, which is believed to have been carried out by Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq.
Former President Donald Trump had taken quick action back in 2019, after Iran-backed militia groups conducted similar attacks. President Biden is not feeling the pressure to act accordingly.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called the strikes “targeted, proportional and necessary.”
On Thursday, an old tweet by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, began going around after the military strikes, assuming to question the Trump administration’s authority to conduct airstrikes against Syria after chemical weapons were used against it’s own people.
“What is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.”