Biden Teeters On Brink Of War With Syrian Air Strikes

The U.S. military carried out an airstrike against an Iranian-backed militia stronghold in Syria Thursday, according to a senior official.

In the first known military action by President Biden, multiple facilities were struck by American F15 fighter jets that targeted Iraqi border-based Shia militia groups, Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada.

Both forces are suspected of having received funding and military support from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

The Defense Department later confirmed the strikes. “These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Thursday.

Two rockets landed within the U.S.’s Green Zone in Baghdad Monday, falling near the U.S. embassy and marking the third attack of its kind within a week.

The Green Zone is several miles wide and houses the U.S. embassy and other government buildings.

Though Monday’s strike reported no causalities, a rocket fired in Erbil, Iraq last week killed several people; an American service member and multiple American contractors were injured.

“We are outraged by the recent attacks,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.

“When it comes to our response, we will respond in a way that is calculated, within our own timetable, and using a mix of tools at a time and place of our choosing,” he added. “What will not do is lash out and risk an escalation that plays into the hands of Iran and contributes to their attempts to further destabilize Iraq.”

The Pentagon said the defensive strike Thursday was conducted with diplomatic support and in coordination with coalition partners.

At least one fighter was killed, according to reports citing an Iraqi militia official. Reuters, citing local sources, also reported that at least 17 were dead, while The Associated Press quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying 22 fighters were killed — but neither death toll could be confirmed.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, said during an appearance on “The Ingraham Angle” that airstrikes in eastern Syria late Thursday should have targeted “something that threatened the United States of America.”

“You’ve got to protect your force, you’ve got to establish deterrence,” Pompeo told host Laura Ingraham. “We did this a couple of times, it was effective.”

“I don’t know what they struck or what targets they went after,” Pompeo added. “I hope it just wasn’t bombs in the desert. I hope it really went after something that threatened the United States of America. If not, it’s useless.”

Elsewhere, Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned the strikes.

“We call for the unconditional respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, according to Reuters.

The airstrike was timed to avoid large-scale casualties and targeted a command hub. The extent of the damage and casualties hit will be known after a bomb assessment is complete, security officials said to Fox news. It’s unclear what retaliations – if any – will come after the U.S. airstrikes.

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