NOS News•yesterday, 10:24 PM•Amended yesterday, 11:01 PM
The US has begun bombing targets in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for the deaths of three American soldiers last weekend. The US supreme command in the region, Central Command, https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1753535280923967851 that aircraft have attacked targets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and pro-Iranian fighting groups in more than 85 places.
The attacks are said to have lasted about 30 minutes. Three of the affected locations are believed to have been in Iraq and four in Syria.
American long-range bombers operating from the US were also used. It is not yet clear which targets have been hit. Syrian state television reported that attacks “resulted in several casualties in the desert and the border area with Iraq.”
US President Biden warns that more attacks will follow. “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere in the world. But if you hurt an American, we will respond,” Biden said. “Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing.”
White House spokesman John Kirby says the attacks were successful and that the Iraqi government was informed in advance. “We don’t know how many militants were killed or injured,” Kirby said. He added that the targets were “carefully selected to avoid civilian casualties and are based on clear, irrefutable evidence that they are linked to attacks on U.S. personnel in the region.”
According to Central Command, command centers, ammunition depots, missile launchers, drone warehouses and other military facilities were hit.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced in a press conference yesterday that there would be a “multi-pronged response”, but did not provide further details. Website Politico reports, based on defense sources, that the White House waited with counterattacks until the bodies of the killed soldiers had been repatriated. President Biden was present with relatives when their coffins arrived in the US.
A pro-Iranian fighting group is held directly responsible by the US for the drone strike that killed three American soldiers last weekend. Dozens of others were injured in the attack on an army base in Jordan, according to the US. According to Washington, the kamikaze drone used came from Iran.