In the first military operation authorized by America's new Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden, the United States carried out an airstrike in Syria on Thursday evening. The strike, which occurred around 6 p.m. EST, was a response to deadly rocket attacks aimed at U.S. troops in northern Iraq this month.
On February 15, rocket attacks from Iranian-backed insurgents struck in Erbil, Iraq, wounding a U.S. servicemember and killing a U.S. contractor from the Philippines. It was assumed the Biden administration would initiate a response, but until now it was not known exactly what it would be.
It is believed that the limited U.S. operation destroyed a series of buildings used by Iranian-friendly militia groups to house weapons and munitions. Expectations are that any casualties were at a minimum.
"The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel," John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson said. "At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq."
🔦 One reason for the limited U.S. response may be the Biden administration's recently announced desire to reopen talks with the Iranian government about the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by former President Donald Trump.