US air raids on pro-Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq
The militias close to Tehran active in the two countries. The attacks have targeted "operational structures and weapons depots" and are a response to the use of drones. There are no victims or injuries, but an NGO speaks of at least five militiamen killed in Syria. Damascus TV reports one child among the victims. Baghdad hosts meeting between the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.
Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States has launched targeted air strikes against pro-Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon issued a note stating that the attacks hit "operational structures and weapons depots" and are a response to the sending of drones by Shiite fighters against US targets in the region.
The strikes hit "operational and weapons storage facilities", in response to drone attacks by the militia on US forces, a statement said. "President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel," the Pentagon said. This is the second round of air strikes Joe Biden has authorised against Iran-backed militias since taking office.
US forces have been subject to repeated attacks in recent months, in which Tehran has denied any involvement. In the region there are about 2,500 soldiers part of the international coalition fighting against the still active cells of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Isis) which, in these hours, has claimed responsibility for an attack on a power plant.
US "defensive" and "precision" air strikes hit two targets in Syria and one in Iraq. Washington acted in "self-defense" by taking "necessary, appropriate and deliberate" actions with the aim of "limiting the risk of escalation" and "sending a clear message".
Currently there are no confirmations of victims or injured in the attacks; however, sources from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (an NGO based in the United Kingdom with a dense network of correspondents in the area) speak of five militiamen killed and several wounded in Syria. Syrian state TV reports one child killed and three others injured.
Meanwhile, a top-level meeting was held in Baghdad over the weekend, which was attended by the leaders of Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. For the first time since the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, an Egyptian president visited Iraq.
King Abdallah II of Jordan, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the landlord, Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kazimi took part in the talks which aim to strengthen collaboration in the economic and security fields.
Arab leaders also discussed a "political solution" to end the war in Syria, based on UN resolutions and which "preserves the security and stability" of the nation by laying the foundations for "the return of refugees".