US strikes targets in Iraq, Syria in retaliation for deadly drone attack in Jordan, officials say

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The US military launched an air attack Friday against dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria used by Iran-backed militias, in a first salvo of retaliation for the drone strike that took place. killed three American soldiers in Jordan last weekendofficials told The Associated Press.

President Joe Biden and other top US leaders have been warning for days that the United States would retaliate against the militias, and they made clear that this would not be a single hit, but a “phased response” over time. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations that have not yet been made public.

The first manned and unmanned aircraft strikes hit the command and control headquarters, munitions storage and other facilities and came just hours after Biden and top defense leaders joined to grieving families to witness the return of the remains of three Army Reserve soldiers to the United States in Dover. Delaware Air Force Base.

It’s unclear what the next steps will be, or whether days of U.S. warnings have driven militia members into hiding, making it harder for the U.S. to detect and strike them. But it was clear that the recent statement issued by Kataeb Hezbollah, one of the main Iranian-backed militias, saying it was suspending attacks on US troops had no impact on Iran’s response plans. ‘administration.

The U.S. strikes also appear not to directly target Iran or its Revolutionary Guard Quds Force. Iran has denied being behind the attack in Jordan.

WATCH | Drone attack and US promise to retaliate risk widening Middle East conflict:

Drone strike targets US troops, risks sparking wider Middle East conflict

Three soldiers were killed in an overnight drone strike targeting US troops near the Syrian border. President Joe Biden has vowed to fight back, reinforcing fears of an escalation of conflict in the Middle East.

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