In a significant escalation of tensions in the Middle East, the United States has carried out major airstrikes on Iranian-linked militia targets in Iraq and Syria. The retaliatory strikes, spanning 85 targets across seven locations, were initiated in response to a drone attack by Iran-backed militants on a U.S. military outpost in Jordan. The attack claimed the lives of three U.S. service members and left more than 40 others wounded.
The airstrikes, which lasted approximately 30 minutes, were deemed successful by the White House. President Joe Biden, in a statement, emphasized that the U.S. military response “will continue at times and places of our choosing.” He asserted that while the United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else globally, any harm inflicted upon Americans would elicit a robust response.
The targets of the strikes included elements of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups. The U.S. Central Command confirmed the airstrikes, stating that more than 125 precision munitions were employed in the operation, hitting command and control operations, intelligence centers, rocket and missile facilities, unmanned aerial vehicle storages, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described the strikes as the beginning of the U.S. response, signalling a commitment to preventing further attacks on American troops. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby echoed this sentiment, affirming that these responses were not a one-time occurrence but part of a broader strategy to halt attacks on U.S. forces.
The airstrikes utilized B-1 bombers, long-range heavy bombers capable of deploying both precision and non-precision weapons. Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, the director of operations for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed that the bombers flew in a single non-stop flight from the United States, taking advantage of favourable weather conditions to ensure the accuracy of the strikes.
The timing of the airstrikes coincided with President Biden’s attendance at a dignified transfer ceremony for the three U.S. service members killed in Jordan. The administration’s approach appears to be a delicate balance – deterring and halting further attacks while avoiding a full-scale conflict with Iran in an already volatile region amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
As the situation unfolds, there is growing speculation about the potential for further U.S. actions and the geopolitical implications of the heightened tensions in the Middle East. The international community is closely monitoring the developments and their impact on regional stability.
Disclaimer: News source is Reuters and Edited by Digpu News Staff