The US on Thursday dispatched an airstrike in Syria that targeted offices utilized by Iran-upheld militia groups — the primary military activity taken by the Biden administration, authorities said.
The Pentagon said the strike was in reprisal for a Feb. 15 rocket attack against a US army installation at Erbil International Airport in Northern Iraq that executed a US-drove alliance project worker and left others injured, including an American help part.
“I’m sure about the objective that we followed, we understand what we hit,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told correspondents after the airstrike.
“We’re sure that that target was being utilized by the very Shia aggressors that led the [Feb. 15] strikes,” he said.
Pentagon representative John Kirby said the attack “obliterated various offices at a boundary control point utilized by various Iranian-supported aggressor groups.”
The groups included Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
Kirby considered the counter a “proportionate military reaction.”
Recently, the Kataib Hezbollah group denied any part in the new rocket attacks against U.S. focuses in Iraq.
Two days after the Feb. 15 strike, a base facilitating US powers north of Baghdad was targeted in another rocket attack, injuring in any event one worker for hire.
On Monday, rockets hit Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses the US embassy and other discretionary missions.
Some Western and Iraqi authorities say the attacks, frequently guaranteed by generally secret groups, are being completed by aggressors with connections to Kataib Hezbollah as a path for Iranian partners to badger US powers without being considered responsible.
Since 2019, the US, in light of now and then lethal rocket attacks against American-drove powers, has targeted the Kataib Hezbollah group with prominent strikes in Iraq and Syria.
Pressures bubbled over under the Trump administration, prompting the US executing of Iranian military pioneer Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
Iran at that point fought back with a ballistic missile attack against US powers in Iraq a year ago.