Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq, Syria Hit by US Air Strikes

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The Epoch Times

U.S. President Joe Biden ordered airstrikes against Iran-backed militia groups embedded at the IraqSyria border region on Sunday evening, marking the second military operation in the region since Biden took office.

The Pentagon said in a statement that the “defensive precision airstrikes” were carried out on facilities known to be used by “Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.”

The defense department did not disclose whether it believes anyone was killed or injured.

“The U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries,” the statement added, noting that several terrorist groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, use the facilities.

The department said the actions show that the U.S. president stands ready to act to protect U.S. personnel, who are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government. U.S. and coalition forces have been fighting side by side with the Iraqi Security Forces in efforts to defeat ISIS.

“The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation—but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message. As a matter of international law, the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense. The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope. As a matter of domestic law, the president took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq,” the statement explained.

The strikes come amid tense times for the United States and the Iranian regime, which has been working to extend its influence into Iraqi politics and the Middle East more broadly. During the Trump administration, the United States killed the Iranian regime’s top military general Qassem Soleimani following attacks that Soleimani approved, using Iran-backed militia, on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as well as numerous rocket attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in the area.

“Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the State Department said at the time.


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