According to a Department of Defense news release, President Joe Biden ordered military forces to carry out defensive precision airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq-Syria’s border region.
“These facilities were chosen because they are used by Iran-backed militias which are engaged in unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV), attacks against U.S personnel and facilities in Iraq. The strikes specifically targeted weapons storage and operational facilities at two locations in Syria and Iraq. Both of these locations are close to the border between the countries,” John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, stated in the release.
“As evidenced by tonight’s strikes, President Biden made it clear that he will protect U.S. personnel. Kirby stated that the President directed additional military action to deter and disrupt the continuing attacks by Iran-backed terrorist groups on U.S. interests.
According to an Iraqi militia statement, at least four Iranian-backed militia fighters in Syria and Iraq were killed by the airstrikes.
Kataib Hezbollah is a Shia militia group backed by Iran in Iraq. They said they would retaliate against US airstrikes.
“This crime will not be tolerated, the decision has been made for revenge, and the American enemy will die with his eyes. Kataib Hezbollah stated in its Telegram page that “an eye for an eye is what is coming and it is severe.”
Biden returned to the White House on Sunday night after a weekend at Camp David. He did not stop to answer any questions regarding the airstrikes and told reporters gathered on South Lawn that he would talk to them tomorrow.
CNN requested a comment from a spokesperson for the National Security Council. The Pentagon was notified Sunday.
In a statement Sunday night, Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, stated that the airstrikes were a “targeted and proportional response” to a specific threat.
Protecting the military heroes who protect our freedoms is a sacred duty. She said that Iran-backed militias have used these facilities to commit attacks on U.S. service members and our allies. “Congress is looking forward to reviewing and receiving the War Powers Act formal notification and receiving additional briefings by the Administration,” she said.
Saeed Khatibzadeh of the Iranian Foreign Ministry stated Monday that the airstrikes would destabilize security in the area.
According to Iran-semiofficial Entekhab.ir, Khatibzadeh stated that the U.S. administration should not create a crisis or create problems for people in the region. Instead, take corrective action and let the people of the region decide their fate.”
Khatibzadeh said, “What America is doing in the region is destabilizing security in the region.”
Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi military, condemned Monday’s US airstrikes. He said that the actions were “a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty” and “a serious and unacceptable violation to Iraqi national security as per all international conventions.”
This administration did not order the airstrikes at first.
In February, the US military struck a Syrian site used by two Iranian-backed militias as a response to rocket attacks on American forces. These strikes caused concern among lawmakers who claimed that Biden hadn’t sought authorization from Congress. According to the White House, the strikes were supported by Article II of both the Constitution and the United Nations charter.