US Aims Airstrikes at Iranian Military

( – Two US Air Force fighter jets carried out a mission last Thursday in eastern Syria against military infrastructure linked to Iran.

The targeted infrastructure has links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), designated by the US and other Western powers to be a terrorist organization. Various targets were struck, including a storage facility for ammunition and a weapons cache.

After the strike, Secretary of Defense Loyd J. Austin III released a statement claiming the “precision” strikes were made in “self-defense” and in “response” to ongoing attacks against American personnel stationed “in Iraq and Syria” by militia groups backed by Iran. Austin said most of these attacks were “unsuccessful.”

Austin added that the US isn’t seeking conflict and has “no intention” or “desire” for “further hostilities,” but that the Iranian-supported attacks “are unacceptable and must stop.” He accused Iran of hiding “its hand” and denying “its role in these attacks” against American forces, but that the US “will not let them,” and that if the attacks by the Arab nation’s proxies continue then the US “will not hesitate to take further… measures” if necessary “to protect our people.”

A week before the air strikes, proxy militia groups backed by Iran targeted US personnel in Iraq and Syria, leading to one American contractor’s death due to a cardiac incident while he was sheltering, and leaving almost two dozen more injured. More than 3,000 US troops are stationed across Iraq and Syria to help allies on the ground combat remaining Islamic State members.

Austin specified that the mission carried out in Syria is “separate and distinct” from the current conflict ongoing between Israel and the radical militant Palestinian group Hamas, who launched a coordinated invasion of Israel on October 7. Austin said the latest military response does “not constitute a shift” in the US’s “approach” to that conflict.

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