U.S. retaliates against Iran after the rocket attacks
The U.S. military struck a site in Syria where two Iranian-backed militia groups congregated. They retaliated on Thursday in response to rocket attacks on American forces in the region during the past two weeks.
That was the U.S. military’s first open action since Joe Biden had become the president. However, the site which they struck was not specifically connected to the rocket attacks. Some lawmakers criticize the government for the action.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made a statement to explain the evidence behind the strike. He announced that the Iranian-backed Shia militias that had recently fired rockets at American and coalition forces used this site.
Austin stressed that he was confident about the target, adding that they allowed the Iraqis to investigate and gather intelligence. Thanks to their own information and this additional help, they knew exactly what they were attacking.
According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the retaliation took place at President Biden’s direction. He added that the military got authorization to not only respond to the recent attacks against the U.S. and coalition forces but to deal with ongoing threats to that personnel, as well.
However, Biden authorized the action only after consulting with U.S. allies, among them coalition partners – noted Kirby.
What did the U.S. military’s strike cause?
According to the latest reports, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point. A number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kata’ib Sayyid al Shuhada and Kata’ib Hezbollah, used those sites.
The U.S. government wanted to establish that President Biden will not hesitate to act to protect American coalition personnel. Besides, they have also aimed to de-escalate the overall situation in both Iraq and Eastern Syria.
A U.S. official noted that they had reasons to believe that the militias used the attacked site as part of a weapons smuggling operation. The U.S. tried to degrade the groups’ ability to carry out more attacks on American forces and simultaneously send a message about the recent attacks.
Before Thursday, the U.S. hasn’t blamed any specific group for the rocket attacks. However, the administration has made clear yesterday who they hold responsible.
On Monday, State Department spokesman Ned Price stated that Iran is to blame for the actions of its proxies that attack Americans. He also added that many of these attacks have used Iranian-made and supplied weapons.
In February, the attack on coalition forces in Iraqi Kurdistan killed a civilian contractor and injured nine others, including one member of the U.S. military and four American contractors.
Afterward, Psaki declared that Biden and his administration would respond in a manner and at a time of their choosing.
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