US & World

U.S. Launches Military Airstrikes Against Iranian-Backed Militants In Syria

Shattered glass is on the ground following a rocket attack in Irbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on Feb. 15. On Thursday, the U.S. launched airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed groups in eastern Syria in response to recent attacks against Americans in Iraq.
Shattered glass is on the ground following a rocket attack in Irbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on Feb. 15. On Thursday, the U.S. launched airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed groups in eastern Syria in response to recent attacks against Americans in Iraq.
Safin Hamed/AFP via Getty Images

The Defense Department says U.S. military forces have conducted airstrikes against infrastructure used by militant groups in eastern Syria. The strikes are a response to recent attacks against Americans in Iraq, and the department calls the strikes a "proportionate military response."

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby issued the following statement regarding the attack:

"At President Biden's direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).

This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq."

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