Joe Biden has warned that these retaliatory strikes will “continue.” “Our response began today. It will continue on the schedule and in the places we decide,” Joe Biden said in a statement.
The airstrikes took place in the Al-Qaim area, on the border between Iraq and Syria, and lasted about thirty minutes, according to the White House. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), eighteen pro-Iranian fighters were killed in strikes carried out in eastern Syria. John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, stated that these strikes had been “successful.”
The White House spokesman specified that the American planes involved in the operation, which targeted a total of 85 targets at seven different sites (three in Iraq and four in Syria), had fired “more than 125 precision munitions in about thirty minutes.” “The United States does not want conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But those who want to harm us should know: if you touch an American, we will respond,” Joe Biden said in a statement, after having just witnessed the return of the bodies of three American soldiers killed in Jordan on Sunday.
A military spokesman for Prime Minister Mohamed Chia al-Soudani fears “disastrous consequences for the security and stability of Iraq and the region.” General Yehia Rasool, the prime minister’s spokesman, stated that these strikes are “a threat that will lead Iraq and the region” towards an undesirable situation “with disastrous consequences for the security and stability of Iraq and the region.” Two Iraqi security sources told AFP that “a headquarters of armed factions in the Al-Qaim area was targeted, it is a warehouse of light weapons according to preliminary information.”
A second strike, in the Al-Akashat region further to the south and still near the border, targeted a command center of operations of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of former paramilitaries comprising these pro-Iranian factions, according to an official at the Ministry of the Interior, speaking on condition of anonymity. An official from the Popular Mobilization Forces, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed these two bombings, stating that the strike in Al-Akashat had caused “injuries.” He reiterated that the United States did not want “war” with Iran.
The spokesman specified that Washington had had “no communication,” not even informal or indirect, with Tehran since the attack that killed three American soldiers in Jordan last Sunday. “You may well see a graduated response, not a single action but potentially multiple actions,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had said on Wednesday.