The US military launched a massive airstrike on Friday against more than 85 targets around seven locations in Iraq and Syria used by Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. It was the first salvo in retaliation for the drone strike that killed three US service members in Jordan last weekend. The US Central Command said the attacks used more than 125 precision munitions and were dropped by several aircraft, including long-range bombers from the United States such as B-1s.
US Central Command said:
“The facilities attacked include command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, rocket and missile, and unmanned aerial vehicle warehouses, and ammunition supply chain and logistics facilities.”
President Joe Biden has been warning for days that the United States will attack the militia. In a statement, he clarified that this was not just an attack but a “staged response” over time.
John Kirby of the White House National Security Council said:
“So, the signal is the Revolutionary Guard and these groups. The attacks must stop. Tonight is not just a routine of sending messages. It’s about lowering the capacity, taking the capabilities from the Guard and the militant groups in a stronger way than in the past.”
The US strikes appear to have stopped short of directly attacking Iran or senior leaders of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force within its borders. In fact, Biden reiterated that the United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East, but will respond to any attack against Americans. The attack came just hours after Biden and top defense leaders joined grieving families to mark the arrival of three US Army Reserve soldiers at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. .