The United States carried out the first military operation of the Joe Biden era in Syria on Thursday. US forces launched an airstrike against a structure belonging to Iranian-backed militias, according to the Defense Department, in response to recent attacks by the US and its coalition in Iraq. The bombings, authorized by the president, destroyed facilities located at a checkpoint used by groups like the Kataeb Hezbollah or the Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
“This military response was carried out in conjunction with diplomatic measures and in consultation with coalition partners,” explained Pentagon press chief John Kirby in a statement. “The operation sends an unequivocal message: President Biden will act to protect the US and coalition troops,” he continued.
The Pentagon presented Biden with other options for attacking a large scale, but the Democratic leader opted for more limited options, Defense sources explained to the local press. The decision to attack only in Syria and not Iraq prevents the country from responding and gives it time. The Iraqi government is conducting its own investigation into the February 15 attack, in which a series of rockets hit the US military base located at Erbil International Airport in the semi-autonomous region led by Kurds, causing the death of a non-Kurdish contractor. American and injuring other US contractors.
Washington has not officially named the person responsible for the attack, but government sources recalled this week that Shiite groups linked to Iran had been responsible for similar operations in the past. The rocket attacks on US positions in Iraq coincided with talks between Washington and Tehran to resume the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by former President Donald Trump.
Source: With Agencies