Retaliatory airstrikes by the United States have begun. So far, the U.S. has hit 85 targets in Iraq and Syria after Iran-based proxies were said to be responsible for the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan last weekend, officials in the ruling class have said.
This was a significant escalation in the war. The U.S.’s response has been swift.
U.S. military forces struck targets at seven facilities tied to attacks on U.S. personnel in the region, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. U.S. Central Command said the facilities included command and control operations, intelligence centers, rockets and missiles, and drone storage sites, according to a report by NBC News.
CENTCOM Statement on U.S. Stikes in Iraq and Syria
At 4:00 p.m. (EST) Feb. 02, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups. U.S. military forces… pic.twitter.com/q9gFDxppmo
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 2, 2024
“Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.”
Militia officials named 16 fighters they said were killed in the strikes late Friday, including five medics they said died when an airstrike hit a base hospital in western al-Anbar province, according to a report by NPR. So far, the Iraqi ruling class has not made any concrete statements saying that it will retaliate against the U.S., but it did condemn the attacks.
The attacks in Syria and Iraq were conducted on Friday. But those are not the only countries the U.S. has bombed in the past few days. The U.S. and U.K. have carried out a series of combined air- and sea-launched strikes against at least 36 targets at 13 locations across Yemen, the US Central Command announced on Saturday.
The joint operation was carried out by Tomahawk missiles launched from US Navy ships, and F/A-18 fighter-bombers launched from the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower, according to a report by RT. The US Central Command said the raid targeted “multiple underground storage facilities, command and control, missile systems, UAV storage and operations sites, radars, and helicopters.”
“These strikes are intended to degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on US and UK ships as well as international commercial shipping,” CENTCOM said.
The Houthi rebels are set to “meet escalation with escalation,” according to a senior political official and spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti. “Our military operations against the Zionist entity will continue until the aggression against Gaza stops, no matter what sacrifices it costs us,” he wrote on X.
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