US attacks Iranian-backed militia in Syria

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, in Washington. The U.S. military conducted airstrikes against facilities in eastern Syria, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, that the Pentagon said were used by Iran-backed militia groups, in response to recent attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq. “I’m confident in the target that we went after, we know what we hit,” Austin told reporters flying with him from California to Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Elad Benari (INN) The United States on Thursday carried out an air strike in Syria against a structure belonging to Iranian-backed militia, two officials told the Reuters news agency.

The strike follows a series of recent rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq. It was approved by President Joe Biden, said the unnamed officials.

The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a US service member and other coalition troops.

“This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners,” the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, John Kirby, said in announcing the strikes, according to The Associated Press.

“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 deescalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq,” added Kirby.

He said the US air strikes “destroyed multiple facilities at a border control point used by a number of Iranian- backed militant groups.”

Rocket attacks have regularly targeted Iraqi bases as well as the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, where the US embassy is located, since the US elimination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last January.

Former US President Donald Trump had warned the Islamic Republic against further attacks on American interests in Iraq and said, “Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over