US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

  • US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

The Pentagon confirmed the strike, which was an apparent response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.

Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann described the airstrike as hitting multiple sites on the same target, an area that local militias use for weapons smuggling.

It was not clear how, or whether, the strike might affect US efforts to coax Iran back into a negotiation about both sides resuming compliance with the agreement.

The US action followed three rocket attacks on facilities in Iraq used by US and coalition forces fighting the Islamic State group. "One in Baghdad and one at the air base north of Baghdad".

"We said a number of times that we will respond on our timeline", Austin said.

It called the action a "proportionate military response" that was taken "together with diplomatic measures", including consulting coalition partners.

"Responses like this are a necessary deterrent and remind Iran, its proxies, and our adversaries around the world that attacks on US interests will not be tolerated", McCaul said. A week later, a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone appeared to target the U.S. Embassy compound, but no one was hurt. The operation sends an unambiguous message; President Biden will act to protect American coalition personnel.

Some Western and Iraqi officials say the attacks, often claimed by little-known groups, are being carried out by militants with links to Kata'ib Hezbollah as a way for Iranian allies to harass USA forces without being held accountable.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price had said on Monday that the United States holds Iran responsible for the strikes.

The attacks are usually claimed by shadowy groups that both Iraqi and USA officials say are "smokescreens" for hardline pro-Iran factions inside Iraq.

Soleimani, a senior officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, was Tehran's key liaison to allied groups and figures in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump were also quick to remind followers that he did not launch any new military engagements over the past four years.

Trump had said the death of a USA contractor would be a red line and provoke US escalation in Iraq.

In the February 15 attack, rockets hit the USA military base housed at Erbil International Airport in the Kurdish-run region killing one non-American contractor and injuring a number of American contractors and a US service member.

US forces have been significantly reduced in Iraq to 2,500 personnel and no longer partake in combat missions with Iraqi forces in ongoing operations against the Islamic State group.