Biden Orders Military Airstrike Against Iranian-Backed Militia in Syria

The Pentagon said the airstrike was in response to recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. It's unclear how much damage Thursday's airstrike caused.


Image via Getty/Doug Mills-Pool


The United States carried out a military airstrike in eastern Syria on Thursday, targeting facilities that were allegedly used by Iranian-backed militia.

Defense officials say the move, which is believed to be the Biden administration’s first military action, was in response to multiple rocket attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq this month. One of those attacks is said to have left one civilian contractor dead and one service member wounder. 

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby addressed the airstrike in a statement on Thursday night, confirming the launch was ordered by President Joe Biden. Kirby said POTUS wanted to send a strong message to the militant groups behind the attacks; however, officials wanted the strikes to be calculated in order to avoid seriously escalating tensions within the region. 

“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,” he said, as reported by NPR. “These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel … This proportionate military response 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 said the launch destroyed infrastructures that belonged to Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada, Shia militia groups that reportedly receive supplies and funding from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It’s unclear how much damage was done at the targeted sites or if the strikes resulted in any casualties. 

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