Strikes by the American Air Force (Air Force) on the night of Monday, June 28, directed at two targets in Syria, and one in Iraq, in the latter case, it was a base operated for drone operations against the US military. This was reported by the newspaper The New York Times citing sources in the administration of US President Joe Biden.
According to the newspaper, in recent months, pro-Iranian armed groups in Iraq have begun to actively use drones, presumably directed by Tehran. They are used to attack American military instructors, whose number in Iraq is about 2.5 thousand people, as well as CIA employees. The purpose of the attack was to deprive the militants of such an opportunity, but, according to sources in the Biden administration, the White House realizes that this will not stop the pro-Iranian formations for a long time.
When striking, laser-guided bombs were used. Two groups were hit. Both were involved in drone operations against Americans in Iraq.
It is noted that the other two targets in Syria were used mainly as warehouses. There were few people at all three sites, according to the White House.
The decision to strike was taken by Joe Biden himself, according to the publication. Prior to that, the attack was discussed by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Milli.
On June 5, the NYT revealed that Iranian-linked military forces have used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to repeatedly attack US-operated military targets in Iraq in recent months. According to preliminary data, over the past two months, armed groups have used small drones filled with explosives at least three times. It is noted that the attacks were carried out at night, UAVs dived and fell on the target.
At the same time, hangars, which the American side uses to store equipment, including their own drones, are increasingly becoming targets of strikes. According to newspapers, Iran is thus trying to reduce the US intelligence potential in the region.
On April 7, the US State Department announced that the United States and Iraq were able to agree that there would be no American servicemen and foreign military bases in the country. The parties also decided that Washington would withdraw most of its military from Iraq, and only Iraqi troops would fight against the IS group banned in Russia.
In early April, US President Joe Biden instructed the Pentagon to begin withdrawing some of the American forces and weapons from the Persian Gulf zone, and it is planned to reduce Washington’s military presence in the Middle East.
According to media reports, the United States has already redeployed at least three batteries of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems and plans to relocate a number of intelligence systems from the Middle East.
Former US President Donald Trump announced plans to reduce the American military presence in the Middle East in the fall of 2020. In particular, it was said about the withdrawal of almost 2 thousand soldiers from Iraq.