In an eerie resemblance to a move by former President George W.H. Bush, Americans awoke to the news that President Joe Biden called for an airstrike on Iran-backed militias found in Iraq and Syria.
This is after one of their drones hit a CIA hangar in Erbil just two days ago.
The U.S. consulate in Erbil said about the attack, “The United States condemns Saturday’s drone attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. This attack represents a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”
According to a U.S. official, the targets included the place where the drones took off, were retrieved, and were operated. According to the official, Iranian-backed militias have launched “at least five” drone assaults in Iraq against bases housing U.S. troops, contractors, and other personnel.
The President sent F-15s and F-16s to demolish the three targets. Command, control, and logistics for drones, two in Syria and one in Iraq.
The U.S. claimed there were no casualties; however, a U.K.-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that at least seven members of an Iran-backed militant group were killed in an Iraqi territory strike.
Breaking: @PentagonPresSec says “At President Biden's direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region” pic.twitter.com/jbn3uXgWr0
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) June 27, 2021
Attempting to justify the attack, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said, “The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries.”
“As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect U.S. personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks,” said Kirby.
A video released by the current administration shows the moments the bombs were dropped, making it the second airstrike ordered since Biden took office in January.
Even though no Americans have been killed, the Biden administration attempts to make a point by retaliating against the claim that the Iranian-backed militias were “using them in an increasingly aggressive way.”
“We assess each strike hit the intended targets, and we are currently assessing the effects of the operation,” said Jessica McNulty, Pentagon spokesperson Commander, saying that the strikes were a “necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation.”
She continued, “Through these and other means. We seek to make clear to Iran and Iran-backed militia groups that there will be serious consequences if they continue to attack, or to arm, fund, and train militia groups that attack our people.”
Of course, the opposing forces are appalled at the attack, with Iraq’s Ministry of Defense condemning the strikes as “a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security in accordance with international conventions.” Retaliation is now on the mind of the Iranian-backed militias.
“We said before that we will not remain silent over the continued presence of American occupation forces in Iraq, which goes against the constitution, the Parliament’s vote, and the will of the Iraqi people,” said the Coordinating Committee of the Iraqi Resistance, which is an umbrella group of Iraqi Shiite militias, in a statement.
US 🇺🇸 Airstrikes were conducted tonight at Al-Qaim on the border between Iraq & Syria. The US State Department said that they conducted strikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia. pic.twitter.com/jnmN5cHZSO
— Intel Air & Sea (@air_intel) June 27, 2021
“We in the Coordination Committee of the Iraqi Resistance will avenge the blood of our righteous martyrs from the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” the group said. “With God’s help, we will make the enemy taste the bitterness of revenge. And if the enemy repeats its aggression, it will see what will not please them.”
In Iraq, an Iran-backed Shia militia group, known as Kataib Hezbollah, confirmed that they would not stand idly by
“This crime will not go unpunished, the decision for revenge has been taken, and the American enemy will see death with his own eyes. An eye for an eye and what is coming is severe,” said Kataib Hezbollah on its Telegram page.
They seem to be aware of what many Americans have also noticed: that the current administration seems to create more problems with their “solutions.”
“Our advice to the new (U.S.) administration is that instead of making crisis and creating problems for the people in the region, take corrective actions and let regional people determine their destiny,” Khatibzadeh communicated.
“What America is doing is destabilizing the security in the region.”