In response to the deaths of three American soldiers in an attack on a Jordanian base, the United States announced targeted airstrikes on elite Iranian forces and pro-Iranian groups in Iraq and Syria. President Joe Biden attended the solemn arrival of the soldiers’ remains at a US base before the military operation began.
The thirty-minute operation, involving a significant number of combat aircraft, including long-range bombers, targeted over 85 sites—three in Iraq and four in Syria. More than 125 precision munitions were deployed, according to US officials. The Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 18 pro-Iranian fighters killed in eastern Syria.
Security sources confirmed the bombing of pro-Iranian armed group positions in western Iraq, specifically in the Al-Qaim sector near the Syrian border. Iraq’s Prime Minister’s military spokesperson condemned the attacks as a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” expressing concerns about the consequences for Iraq’s security and stability.
President Biden warned that the response had begun and would continue at chosen times and places. He emphasized that the US seeks no conflicts in the Middle East but would respond to harm against Americans. While the US has not had any communication with Iran since the incident, Biden’s spokesperson, John Kirby, clarified that Iraq was informed of the attacks in advance.
The retaliatory strikes come amid heightened tensions in the region, with the US signaling that the response would be multi-faceted, targeting various objectives over time. Biden, facing pressure to respond, asserted that the US does not desire war with Iran but will defend its citizens if harmed. The bodies of the three soldiers killed in the Jordanian base attack attributed to Iran-backed groups were received with military honors at Dover Air Force Base. Biden, accompanied by military officials and the victims’ families, witnessed the somber event, paying tribute to the fallen soldiers.