US carries out retaliatory strikes against Iranian targets in Iraq, Syria - Hindustan Times
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US carries out retaliatory strikes against Iranian targets in Iraq, Syria

Reuters |
Feb 03, 2024 05:11 AM IST

Six pro-Iranian fighters, including at least three non-Syrians, have been killed in strikes near Al-Mayadeen.

The United States carried out retaliatory airstrikes on Friday in Iraq and Syria against more than 85 targets linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and the militias it backs, the U.S. military said, after a deadly attack in Jordan that killed three U.S. troops and injured some 40 others.

The strikes are believed to be just the first in a multi-tiered response by President Joe Biden's administration(Rep image)
The strikes are believed to be just the first in a multi-tiered response by President Joe Biden's administration(Rep image)

The strikes are believed to be just the first in a multi-tiered response by President Joe Biden's administration to the attack last weekend carried out by Iran-backed militants.

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While the U.S. strikes did not target any locations inside Iran, they are likely to increase concern about tensions escalating in the Middle East from Israel's more than three-month-old war with Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza.

The U.S. military said in a statement that the strikes hit targets including command and control centers, rockets, missiles and drone storage facilities, as well as logistics and munition supply chain facilities.

The strikes hit more than 85 targets with more than 125 munitions, the military said. They targeted the Quds Force - the foreign espionage and paramilitary arm of the IRGC that heavily influences its allied militia across the Middle East, from Lebanon to Iraq and Yemen to Syria.

Syrian state media said on Friday that an "American aggression" on sites in its desert areas and at the Syrian-Iraqi border resulted in a number of casualties and injuries.

Earlier on Friday, Biden and Pentagon leaders attended the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware as the remains of the three American soldiers killed in the Jordan attack were returned.

The Jordan attack was the first deadly strike against U.S. troops since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October.

The United States has assessed that the drone that killed the three soldiers and wounded more than 40 other people was made by Iran, U.S. officials have told Reuters.

But the Pentagon said it did not want war with Iran and did not believe Tehran wanted war either, even as Republican pressure increased on Biden to deal a blow directly against Iran.

Before the retaliatory strikes on Friday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that Iran would not start a war but would "respond strongly" to anyone who tried to bully it.

Iranian advisers assist armed groups in both Iraq, where the U.S. has around 2,500 troops, and Syria, where it has 900. The IRGC has recently scaled back deployment of senior officers in Syria due to a spate of deadly Israeli strikes.

U.S. troops have been attacked over 160 times in Iraq, Syria and Jordan since the Hamas rampage in Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israel tallies, and sparked the conflict on Oct. 7.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have been firing drones and missiles at ships in the Red Sea, which they say is intended to support Palestinians against Israel.

At least 26,422 Palestinians have been killed and 65,087 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7, according to Gaza's health ministry.

The United States has already retaliated in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in response to previous attacks by Iran-backed groups, including against an IRGC facility.

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