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US air strikes target Iran-backed militias in Syria and Iraq

He called the air strikes “defensive” and said they were launched in response to the attacks by Iran-backed groups.

“The United States has taken necessary, appropriate, and deliberate measures to limit the risk of escalation – but also to send a clear and unequivocal dissuasive message,” said Kirby.

Sunday’s strikes are the second time the Biden government has taken military action in the region. In February, the US launched air strikes against facilities in Syria near the Iraqi border that were allegedly used by Iranian-backed militias.

The Pentagon said the attacks were in retaliation for a February missile attack in Iraq that killed a civilian contractor and injured a U.S. soldier and other coalition forces.

At the time, Biden said Iran should see its decision to authorize US air strikes in Syria as a warning that it may face ramifications for its support of militias that threaten US interests or US personnel.

“You cannot act with impunity. Be careful, ”Biden said when a reporter asked what message he wanted to send.

On Sunday, Kirby said Biden “knew he would act to protect US personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq, the President has ordered further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks. “

The Pentagon spokesman added, “The United States has acted under international law in accordance with its right to self-defense. The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope. “

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on Sunday that the US air strikes “appear to be a targeted and proportional response to a serious and specific threat,” adding, “Protecting the military heroes who protect our freedoms.” defending is a sacred priority. “

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