US begins strikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq, Syria

Islamic Resistance in Iraq militants on Saturday targeted the al-Harir air base hosting US forces in northern Iraq, the group said hours after the US carried out retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran-linked targets.President Joe Biden and other top US leaders had been warning for days that America would strike back at the militias, and they made it clear it wouldn’t be just one hit but a “tiered response” over time.
The strikes by manned and unmanned aircraft hit more than 85 targets, including command and control headquarters, intelligence centers, rockets and missiles, drone and ammunition storage sites and other facilities.

After Washington carried out the strikes, Damascus said Saturday that US occupation of Syrian territory “cannot continue”.

The overnight strikes killed “a number of civilians and soldiers, wounded others and caused significant damage to public and private property,” the Syrian military said in a statement, adding: “The occupation of parts of Syrian territory by US forces cannot continue.” Sixteen people were killed, among them civilians, and 25 injured in overnight US airstrikes on pro-Iran targets in Iraq, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani’s office said on Saturday. In a statement, it condemned the strikes as a “new aggression against Iraq’s sovereignty” and denied that they were coordinated by the Baghdad government beforehand with Washington, calling such assertions “lies.” Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday condemned overnight US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as “violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the two countries. Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani, in a statement, said the attacks represented “another adventurous and strategic mistake by the United States that will result only in increased tension in instability in the region.”
US Central Command said the strikes used more than 125 precision munitions, and they were delivered by numerous aircraft, inlcuding long-range bombers flown from the United States. One official said B-1 bombers were used.—Agencies