US launches airstrikes in Syria; first military action by Biden administration

US launches airstrikes in Syria; first military action by Biden administration

But the strikes appeared to be limited in scope, potentially lowering the risk of escalation.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday the U.S. would "hold Iran responsible for the actions of its proxies that attack Americans" but would not "lash out" and risk destabilising Iraq.

Biden's decision to strike only in Syria and not in Iraq, at least for now, also gives the Iraqi government some breathing room as it carries out its own investigation of a February 15 attack that wounded Americans.

The assault came after a series of rocket attacks in recent days on facilities in Iraq used by the USA, including one that killed a contractor working with the US -led coalition in the country. The statement said the strikes, conducted at President Joe Biden's behest, targeted multiple facilities used by Shia militant groups, including Kata'ib Hezbollah and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.

It was not immediately clear what damage was caused and if there were any casualties.

Peskov also said that he had no information about whether the U.S. notified the Russian side about its planned strikes, because such information is passed through the military-to-military contacts.

"Good move by. Biden (administration) demonstrating U.S. can walk and chew gum at the same time", she said on Twitter.

After about a decade of civil war, Syria's military is in little position to respond directly to a US attack.

Rockets have also struck U.S. bases in Baghdad, including the Green Zone which houses the United States embassy and other diplomatic missions.

The U.S. under the previous Trump administration blamed Iran-backed groups for carrying out multiple attacks in Iraq.

Rockets hit Baghdad's Green Zone on Monday, which houses the U.S. Embassy and other diplomatic missions.

At about 2 a.m. local time, a single F-15 jet fired at a cluster of buildings at a location believed to be a transit point for smuggling militia members into Iraq, according to a US official.

Kirby called Thursday's strikes "proportionate" and said it "was conducted together with diplomatic measures", including consultation with United States partners in the anti-IS coalition. The operation sends an unambiguous message; President Biden will act to protect American coalition personnel.

"At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to deescalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq".

Both groups were extensively involved in the Baghdad-led, Iran- and US-assisted war against Daesh (ISIS)* between 2014 and 2017 and remain formally allied to the Iraqi government.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump were also quick to remind followers that he did not launch any new military engagements over the past four years.

Related Articles