February 26, 2021 – The U.S. has carried out air strikes against Iran-linked militias in Syria in retaliation for recent rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq. The military action was the first ordered by President Joe Biden.
The military action was described by John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, as a proportionate response.
Shia militia groups have claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq in recent weeks. A rocket attack last week killed a civilian contractor and injured several others, including a member of the U.S. military.
Rockets have also struck U.S. bases in Baghdad, including the Green Zone, which houses the US embassy and other diplomatic missions.
There are about 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq to assist Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.
The military action came as the Biden administration has sought to open talks with Iran to revive the 2015 accord that sought to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.