US airstrikes target Iran-backed militia in Syria

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The US military said it carried out airstrikes in Syria’s Deir Ez-Zor early Wednesday, targeting facilities used by militant groups tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The attacks were conducted on the orders of President Joe Biden. 

The US military shared no information about casualties or specific targets. It was not clear whether the strikes were carried out by manned or unmanned aircraft. 

There was no immediate confirmation of the attack by Syria or Iran.

Colonel Joe Buccino said the attacks were “necessary to protect and defend US personnel.”

The US military’s Central Command said the strikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties.”

Buccino, Central Command’s spokesperson, said the airstrikes were in response to an August 15 drone attack by Iranian-backed militias targeting the al-Tanf Garrison used by US forces. There were no casualties reported from this event. 

The European Union has proposed an agreement to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, to which the US plans to respond. The deal was abandoned by former President Donald Trump, but Biden has sought to revive it.  

This is not the first time the United States has struck Iran-backed forces in Syria. In June last year, it targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations. 

There are about 900 US troops in Syria, mostly in the east. Iranian-backed militias are heavily present west of the Euphrates river.  
tg/sms (AP, Reuters)

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