According to the Pentagon, the airstrikes were carried out in retribution for recent drone and rocket attacks on American forces, targeting sites utilised by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its affiliates.
In response to a flurry of recent rocket and drone attacks against American forces in Iraq and Syria, the United States launched two airstrikes early on Friday .
According to U.S. officials, the goal of the strikes was to give Iran a clear message to stop the attacks that the Biden administration has attributed to Tehran’s proxies in Syria and Iraq without worsening the situation in the Middle East.
The targets signify a noteworthy increase in the striking capabilities employed by Iran’s armed forces in the area, in addition to the militias it supplies and trains in Iraq and Syria.
Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement that these precision self-defense strikes are in reaction to a slew of continuous and largely fruitless attacks by Iranian-backed militia groups against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.
Although the United States does not wish to engage in more hostilities, it is intolerable that these attacks against American personnel are being supported by Iran, and they must end.
President Biden and his advisors have worked to keep the war between Israel and Hamas under control and stop it from spreading to neighboring countries like Iran and its proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon since Hamas launched its surprise attack against Israel on October 7.
Consequently, in an effort to prevent Iran and its allies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon from starting a regional conflict, the United States has sent two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean, close to Israel, and scores of other combat aircraft to the Persian Gulf. In order to safeguard American forces and bases in the Gulf, the Pentagon has also hurriedly sent extra Patriot antimissile batteries and other air defences to a number of those countries.
However, pressure has been building on the US to respond militarily because to the almost daily strikes against US soldiers over the past ten days—the total rising to at least 16 after the Pentagon acknowledged an unsuccessful strike at a base in Erbil, Iraq, on Thursday.
When questioned on Wednesday concerning the drone strikes that have recently targeted American soldiers in Syria and Iraq, Mr. Biden stated that he has notified Iran “that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond.”
The Pentagon revealed just hours prior to the predawn American retaliation strikes on Friday that 19 American service members stationed in Syria and Iraq had suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of rocket and drone attacks by insurgents backed by Iran last week.