US forces fired on dozens of targets in Syria and Iraq on Friday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) reported. These actions are in retaliation for Sunday’s attack by pro-Iranian militias on a military base in Jordan.
As the US Central Command (CENTCOM) reported on February 2, US forces “conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria” against the forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and the militias they support. “U.S. forces struck more than 85 targets using multiple aircraft, including long-range bombers from the United States,” it added.
As it was written, over 125 rounds of precision ammunition were used in the raids.
The command also said that the targets included command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, missile systems and unmanned aerial vehicle storage facilities, as well as logistics facilities and facilities in the ammunition supply chain for militia groups and the Revolutionary Guard supporting them.
These actions are in retaliation for Sunday’s attack by pro-Iranian militias on the military base in… Jordan. Attack on the American Tower 22 military base in Jordan was the first such operation in the Middle East in which US soldiers were killed, although there have been about 170 similar strikes since Israel’s war with Hamas began in October.
According to Syrian state media of the Bashar al-Assad regime, “American aggression” in many places in the desert areas Syria and on the Syrian-Iraqi border caused many casualties and injuries.
Biden: If you hurt an American, we will respond
President Joe Biden wrote in a statement: “Let all those who want to harm us know this: if you harm an American, we will respond,” Biden added. According to the White House, Friday’s wave of bombings will not be the last. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed it would be a “multi-level” campaign that could last days or even weeks.
Kirby: The US informed Iraqi authorities in advance
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said during an online briefing Friday that three of the facilities were located in Iraq, and four in Syria. “These targets were carefully selected to avoid civilian casualties and were based on clear and undeniable evidence that they were related to attacks on U.S. troops in the region,” he said. He added that nothing is known about any possible victims yet, but the first information indicates that the attack was successful.
He also noted that the US informed the Iraqi authorities in advance about the strikes. However, he denied any contacts or warnings against the authorities Iran. He announced that further blows would occur “in the coming days.”
Gen. Douglas Sims, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said early data suggested the missiles hit their desired targets. He added that the time of impact was chosen due to the weather. Sims also stated that the strikes were carried out with full knowledge that the facilities may contain members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the militias they support.
When asked why the U.S. decided not to strike targets inside Iran – even though Washington holds Tehran ultimately responsible for a series of over 160 attacks on U.S. forces in the region – Kirby noted that the U.S. does not want a war with Iran and the goal of the strikes is to “stop these attacks” and depriving Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of the ability to strike again.
“We don’t want to see a single attack on our forces,” Kirby said. Sims assessed that Friday’s attack significantly degraded the forces of Iran-backed groups. He also stated that he had no information about any retaliation on their part.
“Nobody wants to cross that red line.”
As Marcin Wrona, the correspondent of “Fakty” TVN in Washington, reported on TVN24, “B-1 bombers hit 85 targets located in Iraq and Syria.” – These targets are bases of militias supported by Iran and probably bases of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – he said.
– There is one more important thing. Well, the Americans signaled which places would be hit and when they would be hit, so that, among other things, Iranian commanders would have time to leave these bases. This is an element of a power play, a chess game between Tehran and Washington, he continued.
– Nobody wants to cross this red line, nobody wants the conflict to escalate, but it is known that one of these militias crossed this red line when Sunday’s attack took place – added the journalist of “Fakty” TVN. As he said, “this is obviously an important signal for the world and it is an important signal for Tehran.”
– United States had to respond to Sunday’s attack, in which three soldiers died, but the United States, and this was said by both President Joe Biden, and Secretary (US Defense – ed.) Lloyd Austin, and Secretary (of State – ed.) Antony BlinkenThe United States does not want the conflict to escalate, said Marcin Wrona.
Throughout Iraq and Syria there are a large number of bases, weapons warehouses and training depots belonging to Iranian-backed militias. Members of these groups, considered terrorist by many countries, are trained, equipped and financed by, but not directed by, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces.
From October 7 – i.e. from the brutal attack by Hamas on Israel – these militias carried out approximately 170 attacks on American bases in the region.
The Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias, was blamed for the attack on the base in Jordan – the first to kill and seriously injure soldiers.
Blinken’s visit to the Middle East
ABC News also points out that on Near East US Secretary of State Antony Blinken goes there, and his mission is to prevent the outbreak of a regional conflict. Blinken himself announced on Friday that on Sunday he will embark on another trip to the Middle East, the fifth since the Hamas attacks on October 7, and this time he will go to Saudi Arabia, EgyptQatar, Israel and the West Bank.
PAP, Reuters, BBC, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: defense.gov