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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Following the death of a contractor, the US conducts strikes in Syria

The United States has conducted airstrikes in eastern Syria on Thursday, February 25, in response to a rocket attack on American forces in northern Iraq earlier this month. The strikes targeted facilities near the Syria-Iraq border used by Iranian-backed militia groups, which the U.S. believes were responsible for the rocket attack that killed a contractor and injured several others.

According to the Pentagon, the airstrikes destroyed multiple facilities used by the militia groups, including a command and control center, a weapons storage facility, and a border checkpoint used by the militants to transport weapons and fighters across the border.

The U.S. Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, said the strikes were a “proportionate military response” to the rocket attack on American and coalition personnel in northern Iraq. He added that the U.S. will continue to defend its personnel and interests in the region and warned that Washington will not hesitate to take additional measures if necessary.

The rocket attack, which took place on February 15 in the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq, killed a civilian contractor working with the U.S. military and injured several others, including an American service member. The attack was claimed by a little-known Shia militant group, calling itself the Guardians of Blood Brigade.

The strike was the first military action taken by the Biden administration, which has been reviewing the U.S. policy in the Middle East since taking office last month. The decision to launch the strike was made after consultations with coalition partners, including the UK, which supported the action.

The strike is likely to escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. The two sides have been involved in a low-level conflict for years, with the militias frequently targeting American and coalition forces stationed in Iraq.

The attack also comes at a time when the U.S. is seeking to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018. The Biden administration has said it is willing to return to the deal if Iran complies with its obligations under the agreement, which limits Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The U.S. strike on Iranian-backed militias in Syria is likely to complicate the efforts to revive the nuclear deal, as it risks provoking a retaliatory response from Iran and its allies in the region.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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