By Kristinn Taylor
Published February 25, 2021 at 6:16pm
Joe Biden personally approved US airstrikes on Syria Thursday in response to recent Iranian-backed militia attacks on US forces in Iraq, Reuters was first to report. The Biden airstrikes reportedly targeted a facility in Syria belonging to Iranian-backed militias. (UPDATE at end, Pentagon statement.)
Two days after Biden took over the White House last month, U.S. troops were seen entering Syria from Iraq, signaling a reversal of President Trump’s efforts to end U.S. involvement in ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East.
Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin posted more on Twitter, “Senior US official confirms the US military carried out a single airstrike in Syria against a single location used by Iranian backed militias- multiple facilities struck tonight. Pres Biden approved the attack. Strike designed to deter rocket attacks against US forces in Iraq.”
On Tuesday Reuters reported an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq denied responsibility for a streak of three attacks on U.S. forces in recent weeks:
An Iran-aligned Iraqi militia group on Tuesday denied any role in recent rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq, but said an attack against Saudi Arabia last month was justified.
It is a rare direct denial and the first time the Kataib Hezbollah group, one of the Iraqi factions closest to Iran, has commented on the most serious incident this year, a rocket attack in Erbil on Feb. 15 that killed a contractor working with U.S.-led forces.
…In the Feb. 15 attack, rockets hit the U.S. military base housed at Erbil International Airport in the Kurdish-run region killing one non-American contractor. Another salvo struck a base hosting U.S. forces north of Baghdad days later hurting at least one contractor.
Rockets hit Baghdad’s Green Zone on Monday which houses the U.S. embassy and other diplomatic missions.
More via ABC News (excerpt)
“The airstrike targeted structures in the eastern Syrian town of Al Bukamal that belong to Kataib Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias that have launched rocket attacks in the past against American facilities in Iraq, said the U.S. official. Another official described the airstrike as targeting a location through which smuggling occurred.”
On Tuesday, Jack Posobiec posted this observation on Biden and Syria, “One thing people aren’t picking up on is how focused the Biden White House is on Syria. They want Assad and his generals gone. This is taking up way more of their time than they are letting on publicly.”
UPDATE: “American forces have struck at an Iranian-backed militia in Syria that launched rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told reporters. President Joe Biden ordered the attack.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby: “At President Joe Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces, earlier this evening launched airstrikes against infrastructure utlilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in Eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to on-going threats to those personnel. Specifically the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups including Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’b Sayyid al’Shuhada. This proportionate military response was conducted along 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 deescalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”