By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The Pentagon did not say whether anyone was killed or injured in the attacks. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said five militia fighters died and several more wounded in Syria “in an attack by US warplanes.”
Syrian state news agency Sana reported that a child was killed and at least three other people were wounded.
The Pentagon said the strikes hit “operational and weapons storage facilities” in response to drone attacks by militia on US forces. “President [Joe] Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel,” the Pentagon explained.
This is the second round of airstrikes Joe Biden has authorized against Iran-backed militias since taking office.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby added that the U.S. military targeted three operational and weapons storage facilities — two in Syria and one in Iraq.
He described the airstrikes as “defensive,” saying they were launched in response to the attacks by Iran-backed groups. “The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation — but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message,” Kirby stressed.
US forces based in Iraq have been hit several times in recent months by drone attacks. Iran has denied any involvement. Around 2,500 US troops are based in the country as part of an international coalition fighting the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group.
It comes amid mounting concerns about Iran’s influence over Iraq’s internal affairs. That influence has grown steadily since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, according to analysts.
The overnight bombings come as Iran is holding talks with world powers, including the US, about reviving a 2015 nuclear deal. The agreement includes lifting sanctions against the Islamic state in exchange for Iran stopping some nuclear work.
Israel and several Western powers fear Iran seeks to develop nuclear weapons, charges Tehran denies.
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