The United States carries out retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria after the death of three soldiers in Jordan

The United States carried out retaliatory strikes on Friday, February 2, targeting personnel of the Al-Quds Force, the foreign operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and pro-Iranian groups in Iraq and Syria, at the same time where the remains of three of their soldiers, killed in Jordan, were repatriated to American soil, announced the American Military Command for the Middle East (Centcom)

The United States carries out retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria after the death of three soldiers in Jordan

The United States carried out retaliatory strikes on Friday, February 2, targeting personnel of the Al-Quds Force, the foreign operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and pro-Iranian groups in Iraq and Syria, at the same time where the remains of three of their soldiers, killed in Jordan, were repatriated to American soil, announced the American Military Command for the Middle East (Centcom).

At least 18 pro-Iranian fighters, including five in Deir Ezzor, were killed in these thirty-minute airstrikes on eastern Syria and western Iraq, the Syrian Observatory reported. human rights (OSDH).

Joe Biden had promised to respond to the deadly drone attack carried out last Sunday near the Syrian border, and attributed by Washington to groups supported by Iran. “Our response began today. It will continue according to the schedule and in the places that we decide,” the president said on Friday. “The United States does not want conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let those who want to harm us know this well: if you touch an American, we will respond,” he said in a statement, a few hours after witnessing the return of the bodies of the three killed American soldiers.

The American executive had indicated that the reprisals would be multiple and spread over time, against different targets.

Eighty-five targeted sites

For his part, General Yehia Rasool, military spokesperson for Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Chia al-Soudani, criticized in a statement a “violation of sovereignty” of Iraq following these airstrikes. He added that he feared “disastrous” consequences for the security and stability of Iraq and the region.

The strikes “involved more than 125 precision munitions,” Centcom said in its statement, specifying that they had targeted more than 85 sites including command and intelligence centers, as well as drone and drone storage infrastructure. missiles belonging to militias and Iranian forces “that enabled attacks against U.S. and coalition forces,” including Sunday’s. The Pentagon specified that the strikes had mobilized numerous combat aircraft, including long-range bombers.

“An HQ of the armed factions in the Al-Qaïm area was targeted, it is a warehouse of light weapons according to preliminary information,” an official at the Ministry of Defense told Agence France-Presse. Iraqi insider speaking on condition of anonymity. An official from Hachd al-Chaabi, a coalition of former paramilitaries bringing together these pro-Iran factions, confirmed this strike and another bombing targeting a position in the Al-Akachat region, further south.

Intense pressure for a firm response against Iran

The American army took action the day its commander in chief, on the tarmac of the Dover military base (north-east), paid tribute to the three soldiers killed. The bodies of William Jerome Rivers, Kennedy Ladon Sanders and Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, soldiers from the American state of Georgia (south), were taken out one by one, in coffins covered with the American flag, from an imposing military transport plane . The 81-year-old president remained motionless in the cold wind, his hand on his heart and his gaze fixed straight ahead, as the bodies passed by.

The Democrat, campaigning for a second term, faces intense pressure from his Republican opponents to respond firmly to Iran.

Former President Donald Trump, the arch-favorite for his party's nomination, has already attacked the "weakness" of his Democratic opponent, while American forces in the Middle East have suffered numerous attacks since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas. Joe Biden, however, repeats that he does not want regional escalation or open conflict with Iran.