WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military launched an air attack Friday against dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria used by Iran-backed militias, in the first salvo of retaliation for the drone strike that killed three American soldiers in Jordan last weekend, officials said. The Associated Press.
President Joe Biden and other top U.S. leaders have warned for days that the United States would retaliate against the militias, and they have made clear that it will not be a single strike, but a ” step response” over time. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations that have not yet been made public.
In a statement, U.S. Central Command announced Friday that U.S. forces “conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militias.”
The strikes hit more than 85 targets, the statement said, and involved “numerous aircraft, including long-range bombers from the United States,” employing “more than 125 precision munitions.”
CENTCOM Statement on US Strikes in Iraq and Syria
On February 2 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. Iranian and affiliated militias. American military forces… pic.twitter.com/ZVx2uOQ1qD
– US Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 2, 2024
The first strikes carried out by manned and unmanned aircraft hit command and control headquarters, munitions warehouses and other facilities. And they arrived just hours after Biden and top defense leaders joined grieving families to witness the return of the remains of the three Army Reserve soldiers to the U.S. Air Force Base. Dover, Delaware.
US strengthens defenses around Jordanian base as it prepares for strikes
It’s unclear what the next steps will be, or whether days of U.S. warnings have driven militia members into hiding, making it harder for the U.S. to detect and strike…