US Approves Direct Attack on Iranian Targets in Iraq and Syria

It is reported that the US has approved plans to strike Iranian forces and facilities in Iraq and Syria as a retaliatory measure for a drone attack that resulted in the deaths of three US soldiers in Jordan this past Sunday.

Officials indicate these operations will span several days, with timing largely influenced by weather conditions to determine their commencement.

The US attributes the assault on Sunday to a militia supported by Iran. This militia, known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, comprises various factions trained, financed, and equipped by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Iran has refuted any involvement in the incident, which also wounded 41 US soldiers at Tower 22, a military outpost.

US intelligence points to the drone used in the attack as being of Iranian manufacture, similar to those supplied to Russia for use in Ukraine.

During a press briefing, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin justified the timing of the retaliatory measures, saying, “We will respond where we choose, when we choose, and how we choose”.

“I think everyone recognizes the challenge associated with making sure that we hold the right people accountable”, he said, adding that there is no “set formula for doing this”.

“There are ways to manage this so it doesn’t spiral out of control. And that’s been our focus throughout”, Mr. Austin added.

Amid calls from Republican senators for action against Iran, President Joe Biden and defense officials maintain that the US is not seeking an escalation of conflict in the region.

Biden, addressing the press, clarified his stance against broadening the conflict’s scope.

The focus remains on Iranian-affiliated targets in Syria and Iraq, avoiding direct confrontation within Iran.

Increased aggression from Iran-supported factions towards US and Israeli interests has been noted since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7.

The Houthis, an Iran-aligned group in Yemen, have targeted maritime vessels, drawing responses from the US and allies.

Following Israeli airstrikes, Iran reportedly pulled high-ranking officials from Syria, aiming to steer clear of broader regional conflict.

Recent US intelligence indicates Iran’s growing apprehension over its proxies’ actions, which have launched numerous attacks against US forces since October.

The US plans to return the remains of the three deceased soldiers to Delaware Air Force Base, with President Biden expected to be present.

The three fallen soldiers have been identified as William Jerome Rivers, aged 46, Kennedy Ladon Sanders, aged 24, and Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, aged 23. All three were members of an army reserve unit stationed at Fort Moore, Georgia.