WASHINGTON — In response to a drone strike that killed three U.S. troops in Jordan last weekend, the U.S. military has launched an air assault on multiple sites in Iraq and Syria used by Iranian-backed militias, officials told the Associated Press.
Retaliatory Strikes Begin
President Joe Biden and other top U.S. leaders have been issuing warnings over the past few days, making it clear that the U.S. would respond to the militias. The retaliation has been described as a “tiered response” that will unfold over time. The initial strikes, carried out by manned and unmanned aircraft, targeted command and control headquarters, ammunition storage, and other facilities.
Honoring Fallen Soldiers
The strikes took place just hours after President Biden and top defense leaders attended a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where the remains of the three Army Reserve soldiers were returned to the U.S.
While it remains unclear what the next steps will be, it is possible that the recent warnings issued by the U.S. have forced militia members into hiding, making it more challenging for the U.S. to locate and strike them. Despite a statement from Kataeb Hezbollah, one of the main Iran-backed militias, announcing a suspension of attacks on American troops, the U.S. airstrikes proceeded as planned.
It is important to note that these strikes did not directly target Iran or its Revolutionary Guard Quds force. Iran has denied any involvement in the drone strike in Jordan.