UpdateThe US launched airstrikes on 85 targets in Iraq and Syria on Friday. The command of US forces in the Middle East, CENTCOM, said. At least 18 pro-Iranian fighters were killed, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
ANB, CNN, The Guardian, AP, Reuters
US President Biden said in a statement that the US response began today and “will continue at times and places we choose”. According to the White House, a roughly 30-minute mission is a “success.”
Biden says the U.S. does not seek “conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world,” but “let it be clear to anyone who wants to hurt us: If you harm an American, we will respond.”
The president was referring to Iranian-backed militias that the U.S. has blamed for an attack on a U.S. base in Jordan. Three US soldiers have been killed before. Today, a ceremony attended by Biden was held in the United States, whose bodies were recently returned to their home country.
According to 'CNN', according to the words of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Biden, the US said that the US will “take all necessary measures to protect America, our troops and our interests”.
The Syrian government has confirmed that the US launched an attack on Syrian territory near the Iraqi border. State media are talking about deaths and injuries, but the numbers have yet to be specified. CENTCOM says “125 precision munitions” were used in the US strikes.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrikes destroyed 17 positions protecting Iranian fighters in al-Mayadeen and al-Boqamal, near the Syria-Iraq border, and positions near the city of Deir es-Zor.
According to the Americans, targets hit in today's airstrikes include command posts, intelligence centers and warehouses for missiles and drones. These were allegedly used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and other pro-Iranian militias to attack US forces in the region.
Iran has yet to respond to the airstrikes, but has previously warned the Americans of “strong retaliation” if Iranian targets are targeted. According to the US news channel 'CNN', a senior White House official has indicated that no targets in Iran will be struck, as that would lead to further escalation in the region.
The United States has previously imposed sanctions on individuals and groups that cooperate with the Iranian armed forces. The U.S. has carried out airstrikes targeting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have continued to attack ships in the Red Sea since November.
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