The Pentagon said the strike was in retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month, killing a private contractor and injuring US military personnel and other Allied forces.
Iraqi militia officials told The Associated Press that a strike against Kata’ib Hezbollah, or Hezbollah Brigades, struck an area along the border with Syria’s Bukamal ruins facing Caim on the Iraqi side. He wasn’t allowed to talk about the attack, so he spoke on condition of anonymity. Syrian war watchers said the strike struck a truck moving weapons to an Iran-backed militia base in Bukamal.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters flying with him from California to Washington shortly after the airstrike on Thursday evening EST, “I’m confident in the goals we pursued. ..
The airstrikes were the first military action taken by the Biden administration, and the first few weeks emphasized its intention to focus more on the challenges China poses, despite the ongoing threat to the Middle East. Biden’s decision to attack in Syria did not appear to indicate an intention to expand US military involvement in the region, but rather to protect the US military in Iraq.
In the past, the United States has targeted facilities in Syria’s Kata’ib Hezbollah and has accused numerous attacks targeting US personnel and the interests of Iraq. Iraq’s Kataeb is separate from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group monitoring the war in Syria, said the strike targeted the shipment of weapons taken by trucks entering Syrian territory from Iraq. The group said 22 fighters from the National Mobilization Army, an Iraqi-affiliated group of almost Shiite paramilitaries, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, were killed. The report could not be validated individually.
Secretary of Defense Austin said he was “confident” that the United States had counterattacked “the same Shiite militants who went on strike” and was a private contractor in a rocket attack in northern Iraq on February 15. People were killed and US military personnel were injured. Other coalition personnel.
Austin said he recommended President Joe Biden to do so.
“We’ve said many times that we’ll respond on the timeline,” Austin said. “We wanted to make sure we had connectivity and we wanted to make sure we had the right target.”
Earlier, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said US action was a “proportional military response” taken with diplomatic measures, including consultations with coalition partners.
“This operation sends a clear message. President Biden will act to protect Americans and Allied personnel,” Kirby said.
Kirby said the U.S. airstrikes “destroyed multiple facilities at border control points used by many Iran-backed militant groups,” including Kataeb Hezbollah and Kataeb Said al-Shhada. ..
Details were not immediately available.
Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell of Notre Dame Law School criticized the US attack as a violation of international law.
“The Charter of the United Nations makes it absolutely clear that the use of military force on the territory of a foreign sovereign state is only legal in response to an armed attack on the defending country for which the target country is responsible,” she said. Stated. “Attack on Syria does not meet any of these factors.”
Officials from the Byden administration have accused a rocket attack on February 15 near the city of Erbil in an Iraqi semi-autonomous Kurdish-run area, but as this week officials have identified who carried it out. Showed that it did not. Officials have pointed out in the past that Iran-backed Shiite militia groups were responsible for numerous rocket attacks targeting US personnel or facilities in Iraq.
Kirby said on Tuesday that Iraq was in charge of investigating the February 15 attack. He later added that US officials could not give “a specific attribution of who is behind these attacks.”
The responsibility for the February 15 attack was blamed by a lesser-known Shiite militant group named Saraya Alwiya Aldam, the Arabic word for “Guardian of the Blood Brigade.” A week later, a rocket attack in Baghdad’s Green Zone appeared to be targeting the premises of the US Embassy, but no one was injured.
Iran said this week it had nothing to do with the Guardians of the Galaxy Brigade. The Iran-backed group has split significantly since a US-led strike that killed Iranian General Kasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Alm Handis in Baghdad more than a year ago. Both were important in directing and managing the various Iran-backed groups operating in Iraq.
Since their death, the militia has become increasingly unmanageable. Some analysts claim that armed groups split as a tactic to claim attacks under different names to hide their involvement.
The frequency of attacks on US targets in Iraq by Shiite militia groups declined at the end of last year prior to Biden’s inauguration.
The United States under the former Trump administration has accused Iran-backed groups of launching multiple attacks in Iraq.
Mr. Trump said the death of a US contractor was a red line, causing the US to expand in Iraq. The killing of a U.S. private contractor in a rocket attack in Kirkuk in December 2019 triggered a bold battle in Iraq’s soil, culminating in the U.S. killing of Iranian commander Solei Mani, representing Iraq. Driven to the brink of war.
US troops have been significantly reduced to 2,500 in Iraq and are no longer involved in combat missions with Iraqi troops in ongoing operations against Islamic State groups.
Baldor and Burns Report from Washington, DC
Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.
US bomb Syria: one dead, several injured in airstrikes, Joe Biden’s first military action
Source link US bomb Syria: one dead, several injured in airstrikes, Joe Biden’s first military action