Biden Orders U.S. Airstrike in Syria, Targeting Iran-Backed Militia

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Biden Orders U.S. Airstrike in Syria, Targeting Iran-Backed Militia

The U.S. military launched an airstrike in Syria targeting groups affiliated with an Iran-backed militia in response to deadly rocket attacks in northern Iraq earlier this month, U.S. officials said.

The strike was believed to have destroyed a string of small buildings used by militia groups to house and transport weaponry, according to one U.S. official. It wasn’t immediately known how many casualties resulted from the strike, but the official said casualties likely were minimal.

The airstrike was the first known instance in which the Biden administration had approved the use of military force against an adversary since taking office last month.

A series of rocket attacks on Feb. 15 in Erbil, Iraq, killed a Filipino national who was a U.S. contractor, while injuring a U.S. service member and other contractors. Since then, the Biden administration has been deliberating a response.

President Biden mentioned the rocket attacks in a phone call Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. A White House statement afterward said the two agreed and “that those responsible for such attacks must be held fully to account.”

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