The United States has reportedly approved plans for a series of strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq. According to officials speaking to CBS News, these strikes are anticipated to occur over several days, with weather conditions likely influencing the timing of the operations.
The decision follows a drone attack near the Syrian border in Jordan, resulting in the deaths of three U.S. soldiers. The U.S. attributes the attack to an Iranian-backed militia group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.
This group, believed to consist of multiple militias supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards force, claimed responsibility for the drone strike, while Iran has denied any involvement. U.S. intelligence, as cited by Reuters, suggests that the drone used in the attack was manufactured by Iran.
U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stated in a news conference that the U.S. will not tolerate attacks on American troops and will take necessary actions to defend its interests and people.
While there is pressure on President Joe Biden to respond to the drone attack, he and other defense officials have emphasized that the U.S. is not seeking a broader conflict with Iran.
The approved plans, as reported, seem to focus on targeting Iranian-backed entities in Syria and Iraq rather than inside Iran. The intention is to respond to the recent drone attack without escalating tensions or seeking a wider war with Iran.
The situation is complex, with ongoing concerns about proxy groups in the region launching attacks on U.S. and Israeli-linked entities. Iran has reportedly withdrawn senior officials from Syria to avoid direct involvement in the escalating conflict.
In related incidents, a U.S. defense official reported the downing of a drone in the Gulf of Aden, while an unmanned sea drone was struck and destroyed in the Red Sea. These developments indicate heightened tensions and military activities in the region.
The bodies of the three U.S. soldiers killed in the Jordan attack are expected to be repatriated to a Delaware Air Force base, with President Biden planning to attend the ceremony.
The soldiers have been identified as William Jerome Rivers, Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, all part of an army reserve unit based in Fort Moore, Georgia.