US launches retaliatory strikes on Iranian-linked militia targets in Iraq and Syria

US launches retaliatory strikes on Iranian-linked militia targets in Iraq and Syria
# 03 February 2024 01:15 (UTC +04:00)

The US has begun conducting airstrikes on targets in Iraq and Syria, the start of what will likely be a series of larger-scale US strikes on Iranian-backed militias who have carried out attacks on US troops in the Middle East, according to two US officials, APA reports citing CNN.

The retaliatory strikes came in response to a drone strike by Iran-backed militants on a US military outpost in Jordan on Sunday, which killed three US service members and wounded more than 40 others.

They came not long after President Joe Biden attended a dignified transfer and met family members of the soldiers killed in Jordan.

Officials have signaled the strikes are likely to be more significant than previous attacks on Iranian-backed militias over the last several weeks, which have primarily focused on weapons storage or training facilities. But the administration is threading a needle – they want to deter and stop further attacks but avoid a full-scale conflict with Iran breaking out in a region already roiled by the continuing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The Biden administration has signaled there could be additional actions in the coming days; Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday the US response would be “multi-tiered.”

“We have the ability to respond a number of times, depending on what the situation is,” he said at a news conference at the Pentagon.

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