The United States has launched an airstrike on Iran-supported militias in Syria.
According to NBC News, Joe Biden ordered airstrikes on buildings in Syria in response to the rocket attacks they launched on U.S. targets next to Iraq. London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes took the lives of at least 22 people. Pentagon Press Secretary called the attack on Syria “proportionate” and “defensive.”
This is the first military action done by the Biden Administration since Biden’s term started. The outlet reports that the attacks were a warning to Syria that the U.S. would not allow its personnel in Iraq to be harmed. So far, there have been three rocket attacks in one week in Iraq, one of which hit a U.S.-led coalition base in Iraq’s Irbil town, NBC News reports.
This all comes after a diplomatic initiative from 2015 that worked toward reviving a nuclear agreement between Iran and other countries. The airstrikes “were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” Kirby said in a statement.
The operation “destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups,” including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, he said, per NBC News. In a statement, the Syrian government called the attack “cowardly U.S. aggression.” The country’s foreign ministry went on to say that the strikes violate international law and will lead to consequences that will escalate the situation in the region,” Sana, a state news agency, reported.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there were only told about the attack four or five minutes before the strikes. “This kind of notification does nothing when the strike is literally already on its way,” he said, adding that the U.S. has been operating in Syria “illegally.” He says he wants the Biden administration to correspond with him more efficiently.