US okays strikes against Iranian targets in Iraq, Syria: CBS
WASHINGTON: (Reuters) The United States has approved plans for multi-day strikes in Iraq and Syria against multiple targets, including Iranian personnel and facilities, CBS News reported on Thursday, citing US officials.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he had made up his mind on how to respond to a drone attack in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border this week that killed three U.S. service members and wounded more than 40. The U.S. blamed the drone attack on Iran-backed militants.
Biden’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said on Monday the U.S. response “could be multi-leveled, come in stages, and be sustained over time.”
In its report, CBS did not provide details on what a US approval meant in terms of a timeline for the strikes.
The drone attack was the first deadly strike against US forces since the Israel-Gaza war erupted in October, and marked an escalation in tensions that have engulfed the Middle East.
As per a CNN report published last Monday, three US Army soldiers were killed and more than 30 service members were injured in a drone attack overnight on a small US outpost in Jordan. It was the first time US troops have been killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the beginning of the Gaza war.
“We shall respond,” President Joe Biden said while speaking in South Carolina on Sunday.
The killing of three Americans at Tower 22 in Jordan near the border with Syria is a significant escalation of an already-precarious situation in the Middle East. Officials said the drone was fired by Iran-backed militants and appeared to come from Syria. It is still being determined which militia group specifically is responsible.
US Central Command confirmed in a statement Sunday that three service members were killed and at least 34 injured in a one-way drone attack that “impacted at a base in northeast Jordan.” Eight injured service members were medically evacuated to receive higher-level care, CENTCOM said.
The number of wounded is expected to rise as service members seek treatment for symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injury, two US officials said.
Biden vowed Sunday to hold those responsible for the attack “to account,” saying that while facts are still being gathered, “We know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”
“These service members embodied the very best of our nation: Unwavering in their bravery. Unflinching in their duty. Unbending in their commitment to our country — risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans, and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism. … [H]ave no doubt – we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”