US strikes militant positions in Iraq and Syria in response to deadly drone attack in Jordan
It’s the first of what officials expect to be multiple rounds of retaliatory actions following the deaths of three U.S. soldiers.
The U.S began conducting airstrikes on Iran-backed positions in Iraq and Syria on Friday, according to four Defense Department officials, the first of what officials expect to be multiple rounds of retaliatory actions following the deaths of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan this week.
President Joe Biden ordered the strikes in response to the deadly Iran-backed attack on U.S. forces at Tower 22, a small outpost in northeast Jordan, last Sunday, which the administration attributed to the umbrella group the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.
U.S. aircraft launched missiles against multiple sites used by Iran-backed militias, said the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive operations.
The decision was made to wait until after the dignified transfer of the three U.S. soldiers was completed before the retaliatory strikes began, according to a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about internal discussions.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden greeted the remains of the three soldiers in a solemn ceremony at Dover Air Force Base early Friday afternoon. The Bidens then returned to their Wilmington, Delaware, home just minutes before the first explosions in the Middle East were reported.
Biden vowed to respond forcefully to the soldiers’ deaths, the first in the most recent conflict with Iranian proxies that has seen more than 160 attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East since October. But with Friday’s strikes, Biden risks becoming even more embroiled in an escalating regional conflict that may draw in Iran.
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