The US military bombed pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq on Sunday in retaliation for drone strikes by the militias, the AP news agency reported. According to the Pentagon, the airstrikes targeted militia bases and weapons depots, two in Syria and one in Iraq. It is the second time since President Joe Biden took office that the United States has retaliated against Iran-backed groups.
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“The United States has taken necessary, appropriate and considered action with limited risk of escalation, but with a clear and unambiguous message,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a written statement.
He describes the attacks carried out with F-15 and F-16 aircraft as “defensive” and says they are the response to “ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed groups on US targets in Iraq”. According to Kirby, President Biden is making it clear that he will act to protect American personnel. It is not clear whether there were casualties in the bombings.
Drone attacks and bombings
Reuters news agency reports that Iran-backed militias have carried out at least five drone strikes on US facilities and personnel in Iraq since April. Convoy bombings are also regularly carried out.
In February, Joe Biden had ordered retaliatory strikes against targets in Syria for the first time during his presidency. Then it was in response to rocket attacks on Iraq.