The United States military launched an airstrike in Syria on Thursday, that targeted groups that were allegedly affiliated with an Iran-backed militia.
Defense officials said this move, which is believed to be the first known offensive military operation carried out by the Biden administration, was in response to multiple rocket attacks against Americans in northern Iraq earlier this month.
“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.
Kirby called these strikes a “proportionate military response” and explained that “It was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”
Kirby added that the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).