The United States military has conducted operations against Iran backed militias in Iraq and Syria. These retaliatory strikes are in response to the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan last weekend.
On Friday, U.S. military forces launched air assaults using B-1 bombers on more than 85 targets in seven locations in Iraq and Syria.
“This afternoon, at my direction, U.S. military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces,” President Joe Biden said. “Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing.”
“The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond,” he continued.
According to a White House official, the attack lasted for 30 minutes. John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesperson said that the U.S. does not know how many militants were killed or wounded from the retaliatory strikes.
“We believe that the strikes were successful,” Kirby stated.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the Friday strikes are “the start of our response.”
“The President has directed additional actions to hold the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and affiliated militias accountable for their attacks on US and Coalition Forces,” Austin said in a statement.
“These will unfold at times and places of our choosing,” he continued. “We do not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else, but the President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces. We will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our forces, and our interests,” he said.
These attacks are a response to an attack on a U.S. outpost in Jordan that week which killed three U.S. service members and wounded more than 40 others.