BAGHDAD, 28 June: The United States has carried out another round of air raids against Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria, in response to drone attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq, with the militias threatening to retaliate.
In a statement on Sunday, the US military said it targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq.
It did not say whether it believed anyone was killed or injured, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least five fighters were killed and several others wounded.
Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said one child had been killed and that at least three other people were wounded.
The attacks came at the direction of US President Joe Biden, the second time he has ordered retaliatory attacks against Iran-backed militia since taking office five months ago.
Biden last ordered limited bombing against a target in Syria in February, that time in response to rocket attacks in Iraq.John Kirby’s statement
“The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation – but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message,” John Kirby, spokesman for the Pentagon, said in a statement.
Kirby said that the targets – two in Syria, one in Iraq – were selected because “these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq”.
The Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada military factions were among the “several Iran-backed militia groups” that had used the targeted facilities, Kirby added.
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