The U.S. launched strikes in Syria on Thursday local time. It is the first case of Washington’s military action since the inauguration of the Joe Biden administration. It was an act of retaliation for rocket attacks on a U.S. military base in Iraq.
The Pentagon issued a statement on the day to announce that it launched strikes at pro-Iran militia facilities in Syria. Pentagon spokesman John Kerby said that the strike was approved in response to recent attacks on U.S. and allied forces agents in Iraq and military response was taken proportionately along with diplomatic measures including consultations with alliance partners. He went on to say that the operation sent a clear message that “President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel in Iraq.”
According to the Pentagon, the strike has destroyed a number of buildings in Syria-Iraq border regions that are used by Iranian-backed militias including the Kata’ib Hezbollah, a Shiites militia group. Human Rights Watch in Syria said on the day, “At least 17 pro-Iran militia force members were killed. The number of deaths could increase further because many people were severely injured.”
The militia group has been singled out as the culprit behind the rocket attacks at the U.S. military base in Erbil, Iraq on Feb. 15. That attack left an employee of a U.S. military contractor killed, and nine others injured including a U.S. soldier.
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