According to a recent article on CNN, the US carried out airstrikes targeting two facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria on Thursday, October 26, 2023. The strikes were ordered by President Joe Biden and were described as “narrowly tailored in self-defense” by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The facilities have been used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups. The US accused Iran of having a role in the attacks on US forces and emphasized that it will not let them hide their hand and deny their role in these attacks against US forces.
These strikes followed continuous drone and missile attacks on U.S. bases and personnel since October 17, which resulted in the death of an American contractor and injuries to 21 soldiers.
Despite these measures, the U.S. clarified it doesn’t seek further hostilities but expects Iran-backed attacks to cease. Defense Secretary Austin further emphasized that these strikes were not related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and were primarily focused on protecting U.S. interests in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. officials believe these strikes will significantly curtail the capabilities of Iranian proxy groups targeting U.S. forces. The U.S. holds Tehran accountable for funding and directing these proxies.
The operations in Syria came after U.S. President Joe Biden conveyed a direct message to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, cautioning against assaults on U.S. troops. Despite the ongoing conflict, the Biden administration has not directly implicated Iran in the recent attacks in Syria and Iraq.
U.S. officials continue to assert that their actions are calculated, aiming to deter strikes against U.S. personnel involved in combating the Islamic State group. Concurrently, to fortify its defense, the U.S. is enhancing air defenses in the region, deploying missile systems, and increasing fighter jet presence. This move intends to show unwavering support for Israel amidst its ongoing conflict with Hamas.