Biden orders military strike that changes everything

President Biden had a decision to make. Now there’s no going back.

And Biden ordered a military strike that changes everything.

Thursday, the U.S. military used drones to attack Iranian-backed groups in Syria in response to a string of attacks on U.S. troops and staff in the area.

Two sites in eastern Syria were hit by “self-defense strikes” that were used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and groups affiliated with it. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that President Biden gave the order for the offensive.

“These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17,” Austin said.

According to a senior U.S. military source, two F-16 fighter jets used precision weapons to hit a place to store weapons and ammunition in Abu Kamal, Syria, which is close to the border with Iraq.

A senior U.S. military official said, “The people that are in these places are members of Iranian-aligned militias and IRGC personnel.” The official also said that there were no civilians at the two sites that were hit.

It’s not clear if anyone was hurt in the strikes, which were the first since March 23 to target Iranian forces in Syria.

The airstrikes happened after the Pentagon said earlier that a terrorist group backed by Iran attacked U.S. forces at Erbill Airbase in Iraq on Thursday. The group was not named.

“As a result of these attacks, one U.S. citizen contractor died from a cardiac incident while sheltering in place; 21 U.S. personnel suffered from minor injuries, but all have since returned to duty,” Austin added.

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”

The Pentagon says that the U.S. and coalition troops have been hit by drones and rockets at least 19 times in Iraq and Syria between October 17 and October 26.

Austin said that Thursday’s airstrikes were not meant to make things worse in the Middle East, where emotions were already high.

He also promised to do more if attacks on U.S. forces by Iranian agents continue.

The defense secretary said, “The United States does not seek conflict and has no intention or desire to get involved in more hostilities. However, these attacks on U.S. forces by Iran are unacceptable and must stop.”

“Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people,” Austin added.

The top Pentagon source said that the airstrikes are “separate and distinct” from Israel’s war against Hamas and should not be seen as a change in how the U.S. is supporting that war.

“These narrowly tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend US personnel in Iraq and Syria. They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict. We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict,” Austin said.

The U.S. did not talk to Israel about Thursday’s airstrikes, according to a senior defense official. They also agreed with Austin that this is “completely different from our support to Israel as it seeks to restore security after the brutal Oct. 7 Hamas attack.”

Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.

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