US assaults ‘Iranian-backed military infrastructure’ in Syria

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Pentagon spokesman says move was in response to current rocket assaults on US troops in Iraq.

The United States army says it carried out assaults on amenities in japanese Syria utilized by Iran-backed militia on Thursday, following current rocket assaults on US troop places in Iraq, the Pentagon mentioned.

“At President Biden’s direction, US military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria,” spokesman John Kirby in a press release.

“These strikes were authorised in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” he mentioned.

Kirby mentioned the strikes destroyed a number of amenities at a border management level utilized by quite a lot of Iranian-backed militant teams, together with Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS). It was not instantly clear if there have been any casualties.

The United States move got here after an assault nearly two weeks in the past on the principle army base contained in the airport in Erbil, which killed one overseas civilian contractor and wounded a minimum of 9 others, together with an American soldier. Foreign troops deployed as a part of the US-led coalition that has helped Iraq struggle the armed group ISIL (ISIS) since 2014, are stationed on the website.

A shadowy group calling itself Awliya al-Dam – or the Guardians of the Blood – claimed accountability for the assault and mentioned it will proceed to assault “occupation” American forces in Iraq.

The Pentagon assertion described the US army response as “proportionate”, co-ordinated with diplomatic measures and carried out in session with coalition companions.

“We have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq,” it mentioned.

Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi, who’s in Washington DC, mentioned there was a transparent effort to attract a distinction with Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

“Clearly they are trying to draw a comparison with the previous administration of Donald Trump who in response to attacks on coalition forces in Iraq used the most disproportionate force by killing the Iranian general (Qassem) Soleimani,” Rattansi mentioned.

The Iraqi authorities is finishing up its personal investigation into the February 15 assault in Erbil.

That assault was adopted by one other days later, on a base internet hosting US forces north of Baghdad. At least one contractor was harm in that assault.

Rockets additionally hit Baghdad’s Green Zone on Monday which homes the US embassy and different diplomatic missions.

Some Western and Iraqi officers say the assaults, usually claimed by little-known teams, are being carried out by militants with hyperlinks to Kata’ib Hezbollah as a manner for Iranian allies to harass US forces with out being held accountable.

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