According to Fox News, the U.S. military launched a defensive airstrike on Sunday, June 27, against three Iranian militia facilities that were being used to launch and recover drones. At least one of the facilities was destroyed.
John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, confirmed that the strike targets were buildings used by groups such as Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) to launch drone strikes against U.S. facilities and targets in the Baghdad and Erbil area of northern Iraq.
“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region,” John Kirby said in a statement. “The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.”
“As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect U.S. personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks,” Kirby assured.
“The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation—but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message,” the press secretary added.
A source within the military revealed to Fox News that U.S. Air Force F-15s and F-16s were used in the operation. The strikes took place at approximately 6 p.m. ET, and the aircraft reported back to base without incident.
The attack’s timing was premeditated when there should not have been many people, so the Pentagon does not believe there were ‘many casualties.
“As a matter of international law, the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense. The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope. As a matter of domestic law, the president took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq,” Kirby clarified.
Last April 4, two missiles struck near an Iraqi air base north of Baghdad that houses U.S. soldiers, three days before a new “strategic dialogue” between the U.S. and Iraq.
Whether at the U.S. embassy or Iraqi military bases housing American servicemen, there have been 14 attacks since Joe Biden took office as president.
Two Americans and an Iraqi died as a result.
The eternal ‘war’ with Iraq
The conflict with Iraq began in 2003 in what was famously the Persian Gulf War.
Since then, all American presidents—Democrats and Republicans—maintained the presence of troops in the country.
Up to 2013 alone, the U.S. Treasury Department reported an expenditure of 1.7 billion dollars.
In mid-2020, former President Donald Trump, as part of his campaign promise, withdrew more than half of the troops stationed in Iraq and announced a complete withdrawal.
Trump called the Iraq war and invasion “the worst mistake in the history of our country.”
In his four years tenure, he was the only American president that did not start a new armed conflict and as a matter of fact achieved many peace deals between Arabs Muslims and the Jewish people of Israel.