USA strikes Syria: Joe Biden takes first military action as president


After about a decade of civil war, Syria's military is in little position to respond directly to a US attack.

Mr Kirby said: "The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel".

But he also said that it was created to de-escalate the situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.

US President Joe Biden authorized the strikes, which reportedly destroyed multiple facilities used by two militant groups.

Meanwhile, there is no reaction in the markets to these events, but a watchful is being kept on developments.

"The decision to strike in Syria instead of Iraq was likely to avoid causing issues for the Iraqi government, a key partner in the continuing efforts against ISIS", Mulroy said in an email. By striking an area in Syria "completely controlled" by Iranian-backed militias, Smyth said the U.S.

Kirby said the target was a border control point used by Iranian-backed armed Iraqi groups including Kataeb Hezbollah and Kataeb Sayyid al-Shuhada.

The US airstrike hit a cluster of buildings and is believed to have killed "up to a handful of people", The Washington Post newspaper reported on late Thursday, citing an anonymous US official.

In mid-February, over a dozen rockets were fired at a United States military base housed at Irbil International Airport in the Kurdish-run region of northern Iraq. "We wanted to be sure of the connectivity and we wanted to be sure that we had the right targets". Former President Trump had said near the end of his tenure that any loss of U.S. life in Iraq due to attacks by Iran and its proxies in the region would trigger severe reprisals from the US.

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Officials have noted that in the past, Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups have been responsible for numerous rocket attacks that targeted US personnel or facilities in Iraq.

U.S. defence secretary Lloyd Austin said after the air strike on Thursday: "I'm confident in the target that we went after, we know what we hit".

Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, had said Tuesday that Iraq is in charge of investigating the February 15 attack.

Next Up - a big Saudi DecisionPresident Biden has another tough decision to make in the Middle East, this time against Iran's greatest ideological foe and regional rival, Saudi Arabia.Biden is poised to order the public release of an intelligence report on the grisly murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He added that USA officials were not then able to give a "certain attribution as to who was behind these attacks".

Another salvo struck a base hosting USA forces north of Baghdad days later, hurting at least one contractor.

The US had not definitively blamed any specific group for the rocket attacks or attributed them to any Iranian proxies in the region, but the administration had made it clear where they place the blame. "What we will not do, and what we've seen in the past, is lash out and risk an escalation that plays into the hands of Iran by further destabilizing Iraq, and that is our priority", Psaki added.

Days after his death, Iran launched missile attacks against USA forces at an Iraqi air base in Anbar Province that wounded more than 100 troops.

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