Washington, D.C. – In a significant military operation, the United States launched airstrikes on facilities in Iraq and Syria, targeting sites associated with Iran-backed groups. More than 125 precision munitions were used in the strikes, which focused on command-and-control centers, headquarters buildings, intelligence sites, rocket missile and drone storage facilities, as well as logistics and ammunition supply chain spots.
Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, director of operations for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, revealed that B1 bombers dispatched from the U.S. were utilized in the operation. The targets were carefully selected to minimize civilian harm, although it was acknowledged that there would likely be casualties associated with the strikes.
The U.S. has no current plans to strike inside Iran, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive planning. Meanwhile, the National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, declined to confirm whether aides presented President Biden with options to attack inside Iran’s border.
The strikes were conducted with the aim of degrading and disrupting the capabilities of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-backed groups that have been targeting American personnel in the region. Sims and Kirby emphasized that the U.S. is not seeking a war with Iran.
President Biden ordered the strikes in response to a deadly Iran-backed attack on U.S. forces in northeast Jordan, which resulted in the deaths of three American soldiers. Biden emphasized in a statement that the U.S. does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world but will respond to any harm inflicted on Americans.
The Quds Force, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has been a key focus in the recent military actions. The Quds Force has a history of training and equipping Islamic revolutionary groups throughout the Middle East and has been directly implicated in attacks on U.S. troops in the past.
The Biden administration’s response is viewed as a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict with Iran-backed groups. The strikes in Iraq and Syria are not expected to be the end of America’s response to Iran, with more attacks anticipated in the future. However, the administration has not provided details about potential future operations.
The decision to order these military strikes has placed President Biden in a delicate position, as he must navigate the challenge of responding forcefully to attacks on U.S. forces without risking a full-blown war with Iran. The situation highlights the complex dynamics at play in the Middle East and the difficult decisions facing the administration in addressing threats from Iranian proxies.
The U.S. military has also been engaged in responding to other Iranian-backed actions in the region, including attacks by Yemen-based Houthi rebels on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. These incidents further complicate the geopolitical landscape and add to the challenges faced by the Biden administration in the broader Middle Eastern region.