A spokesman for the US Department of Defense (Pentagon), John Kirby, in statement On the evening of Thursday, February 25th, his country’s forces launched air strikes targeting infrastructure used by the “Hezbollah” and “Lord of the Martyrs” Brigades, which are supported by Iran, in eastern Syria.
Kirby confirmed that the strikes came at the direction of President Joe Biden, indicating that he wanted them to deliver a clear message that he would take action to protect US forces and the international coalition forces.
He added, “This military response was implemented in accordance with diplomatic measures, including consultations with coalition partners (…), and it was carried out in a deliberate manner aimed at calming the general situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”
The American official pointed out that the approval of these raids came in response to the recent attacks against American and international coalition forces in Iraq, and to the ongoing threats against them.
He explained that the raids resulted in the destruction of a number of facilities located at a border control point used by armed groups supported by Iran, including the “Hezbollah” and “Sayyid al-Shuhada” Brigades.
On February 16, the spokesperson for the International Coalition Operations Room known as “Inherent Resolve”, Wayne Maruto, announced the death of one person, and the wounding of five contracted civilians, including an American soldier, as a result of missiles targeting Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, in northern Iraq.
A US official told “Reuters”, that the injury of the American soldier was a concussion.
For its part, an armed group close to Iran, known as the “Awliya al-Dam Brigades,” claimed responsibility for the attack that struck Erbil airport.
Although the “Awliya al-Dam Brigades” said that its primary goal was to strike the “American military base” in Erbil, it threatened more attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces ordered the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, in a statement, to form a joint investigation committee for the targeting of Erbil airport, according to what I reported Iraqi News Agency (INA).
Armed groups allied with Iran in Iraq and Yemen have launched attacks against the United States and its Arab allies in recent weeks, including a drone attack on an airport in Saudi Arabia and the firing of missiles at the US embassy in Baghdad.
Most of the accidents did not cause casualties, but they continued to put pressure on US forces and US allies in the region in the early days of US President Joe Biden’s presidency.