February 2, 2024
February 3, 2024
The United States has attacked more than 85 targets in Syria and Iraq in retaliation for an attack on American soldiers in Jordan. Iraq denounces the violation of Iraqi sovereignty.
The US Department of Defense confirmed on Friday evening that the US has carried out airstrikes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and other pro-Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria. Command posts, intelligence centers and missile and drone warehouses were hit, the Pentagon announced.
The attacks killed at least 18 pro-Iranian fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. US President Joe Biden said the attacks took place on his personal orders. It was in retaliation for an attack on an American base in Jordan.
Three American soldiers were killed in that attack on Sunday. According to the United States, the attack was carried out by militants working with Iran. Just Friday, a ceremony took place in the US in honor of the soldiers, whose bodies arrived back in their home country on Friday.
“Our response began today,” Biden said in a statement. “It will take place when and where we choose.” The retaliation raises fears of an escalation of violence in the Middle East, where Israel’s war in Gaza has increased tensions.
The attack in Jordan was the first time since the war in the Gaza Strip began on October 7 that actions against US targets in the Middle East have cost the lives of Americans. Biden announced immediately after the attack that he would strike back.
It seemed unlikely that the US would attack Iran directly. That would cause an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East and possibly lead to open war between the US and Iran. Both countries were clearly not looking for that.
‘Violation of Iraqi sovereignty’
The American attacks on Iranian targets are ‘a violation of Iraqi sovereignty’, a military spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia Al-Sudani responded. “The attacks are a threat that will drag Iraq and the region into an unpredictable situation that will have disastrous consequences,” he said.
White House spokesman John Kirby said Washington had alerted the Iraqi government about the attacks. He also reiterated that the US does not want war with Iran.