The United States on Friday (2 February) conducted air strikes against Iranian forces and allied militias in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for a lethal drone strike on a US base in Jordan in which three American soldiers were killed on Sunday.
At least 18 fighters were killed in the US strikes as Washington seeks to deter future attacks on its bases in the region.
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The US had attributed the drone attack to Iran-supported groups, but refrained from targeting Iranian soil to avoid a full-scale conflict with Tehran.
"Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing," US President Joe Biden said in a statement, NDTV reported.
"The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond," he added.
According to the US Central Command, the strikes targeted Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force as well as "affiliated militia groups," with American forces hitting "more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from United States".
The airstrikes employed more than 125 precision munitions," CENTCOM said, adding that the targets included command and control and intelligence centers as well as rocket, missile and drone storage facilities belonging to militia groups and Iranian forces "who facilitated attacks against US and coalition forces".
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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