On late Thursday, it was reported that the US military conducted an airstrike towards facilities used by Iranian-backed groups in eastern Syria. It is reported that the scope of the strikes was limited, and no one expected to cause acceleration of the conflict. The strikes were only carried out against the targets in Syria. Early reports suggest that at least 17 people were killed according to local and medical sources.
The statement was made by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby expressed that the strikes were led by President Joe Biden. Based on the statement, the strikes specifically targeted many facilities located at a border control point used by several Iranian-backed groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS). Kirby also said that while President Biden will continue to act in a direction to protect the American and Coalition military staff, it will refrain from worsening the situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.
This is known as the first military operation of President Biden since he has taken office in January. A US official that spoke to Reuters said that many options were presented to Biden, and he picked the most limited one as a response. Many commentators who spoke on the attack stated that the Biden administration wants to show that while they are open to negotiating with Iran on a nuclear deal, the US’ interests will continue to be safeguarded.
On Monday, a missile attack targeted the Green Zone, a well-protected area that hosts many diplomatic missions, including the US Embassy. It is seen that the Green Zone has been frequently targeted since the assassination of Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani by a US drone attack.
The strikes came after the phone conversation between President Biden and Saudi King Salman.