The US military carried out air strikes in eastern Syria on the orders of President Joe Biden. The US Department of Defense said the target of the attacks were “multiple facilities” at a border crossing. These were used by militias supported by Iran, said spokesman John Kirby on Thursday evening (local time). The air strikes were a “proportionate” response to recent attacks against US soldiers and their international partners in Iraq.
“The mission sends a clear message,” says Kirby. President Biden is ready to act when it comes to protecting US military personnel and their allies. At the same time, the proportionate attacks were deliberately carried out in order to “de-escalate the situation in eastern Syria and Iraq,” said Kirby. According to the Pentagon, the destroyed infrastructure was used by the Shiite militia Kataib Hezbollah, among others.
A civilian contractor belonging to the international military coalition was killed in a rocket attack on the northern Iraqi city of Erbil last week and several people were injured. It was the first time since the new US President Joe Biden took office in January that US soldiers have been shot at in Iraq. The hitherto little known group “Aulijaa al-Dam” (blood guards) took responsibility for the attack at that time.
The attack had fueled fears of further violence against US and international forces in Iraq. A total of 14 rockets were shot down.