Pentagon officials said the strike was in retaliation for recent attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq, including the rocket attack in northern Iraq on February 15 that killed a civilian contractor, a U.S. soldier, and others. The coalition forces were injured.
Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that two Air Force F-15E aircraft fired seven missiles, completely destroying nine facilities, and severely damaged two other facilities, making these two “functionally destroyed.”
Kirby said the facility attacked in the attack was located near Bukamar on the Syrian side of the Iraqi border along the Euphrates River.
He said: “It is well known that this location is conducive to the activities of militias allied with Iran.” He added that the United States already has preliminary information about the casualties at the attack site, but he refused to disclose any details until the damage caused was carried out. A broader assessment. He called the site a “compound” used by the Islamic State group during its swings in the area.
Iraqi militia officials told the Associated Press that the attack on Qatab’s Hezbollah or Hezbollah attacked an area located on the border between the Bukamal ruins in Syria, facing Qaidim on the Iraqi side. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he has no right to speak. The Syrian War Monitoring Group said the strike attacked trucks and transported weapons to the Iran-backed Bukamail militia base.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters shortly after the airstrike on Thursday night Eastern Standard Time: “I am confident in what we are pursuing, and we know what we will achieve.”
In the first few weeks of its establishment, the Biden administration emphasized that its intention is to focus more on the challenges facing China, even if the Middle East threat persists. Biden’s decision to launch an attack in Syria does not seem to indicate his intention to expand US military involvement in the region, but rather to show his willingness to defend the US military in Iraq and convey the message to Iran.
The United States has targeted facilities belonging to Kataeb Hezbollah in Syria in the past and blamed it on multiple attacks against American personnel and Iraqi interests. The Iraqi Qatab is independent of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British organization monitoring the war in Syria, said that the target of the strike was a batch of weapons taken from Iraq by trucks entering Syrian territory. The organization said that a total of 21 combatants from the popular mobilization force were killed. Iraq is an umbrella organization composed of Iraqi Shia paramilitary personnel, most of whom are Shia paramilitary personnel. The report cannot be independently verified.
The organization confirmed in a statement that one of the fighter jets was killed, and said it reserves the right to retaliate without elaborating. Qatab Hezbollah, like other Iran-backed factions, maintains fighters in Syria both fighting the Islamic State group and assisting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the country’s civil war.
Secretary of Defense Austin said he was “confident” that the United States had counterattacked “shi’ite militants who went on strike”, referring to a rocket attack in northern Iraq on February 15 that killed a civilian contractor. A U.S. soldier and other Union personnel were wounded.
Austin said he has advised President Biden to take this action.
Austin said: “We have repeatedly stated that we will respond on a timetable.” “We want to ensure connectivity, we want to make sure we have the right goals.”
Kirby has previously stated that the US action is an “appropriate military response” taken in conjunction with diplomatic measures, including consultations with allied partners.
Kirby said: “This action sent a clear message: President Biden will take action to protect American and coalition personnel.”
Kirby said that the US airstrikes “destroyed many facilities at border control points used by Iran-backed militant groups,” including Katab Hezbollah and Katab Said Shuhada.
No more details can be obtained immediately.
Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at the Notre Dame Law School, criticized the US attack as a violation of international law.
She said: “The United Nations Charter absolutely clearly shows that the use of military force on the territory of a foreign sovereign country is legal, only for the purpose of launching an armed attack on the defending country responsible for the target country.” “The Syrian strike did not encounter any of these factors. “
Syria condemned the strike by the United States, calling it a “cowardly and systematic American aggression,” and warned that the attack would have consequences.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “This aggressive behavior is a negative instruction to the new US government’s policies. The new US government should adhere to international legitimacy, not the law of the jungle.”
Biden administration officials condemned the rocket attack that was launched on February 15 near the city of Erbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish-controlled area, but it was not until this week that officials said they had not yet determined who carried out the attack.
Kirby said on Tuesday that Iraq will be responsible for investigating the February 15 attacks. He added that at the time, U.S. officials could not make a clear attribution to “who was behind these attacks.”
A little-known Shi’ite militant group calling itself Saraya Alwiya al-Dam, a member of the Guardians of the Arab Blood Brigade, claimed responsibility for the February 15 attack. A week later, the rocket attack on the Greenbelt of Baghdad appeared to be aimed at the compound of the US Embassy, but no one was injured.
Iran said this week that it has no contact with the “Blood Brigade Guardians.” Since a strike directed by the United States killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad more than a year ago, the Iran-backed group has been largely divided. Both are key to command and control the numerous Iranian support groups operating in Iraq.
Since their deaths, the militia has become increasingly unruly. Some analysts believe that the armed groups have split into a tactic, claiming to launch attacks under different names to cover up their involvement.
The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has been drastically reduced to 2,500, and they are no longer involved in ongoing combat missions against the Islamic State group with Iraqi forces.
“Baldor and Burns” reported in Washington DC
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