President Biden authorized a military strike on Thursday in Syria, in response to attacks against US and coalition personnel in Iraq.
The Pentagon said its strike near the Iraqi border in eastern Syria was a “proportionate military response” that was taken “together with diplomatic measures”, including consulting coalition partners.
With about 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq to assist Iraqi forces against the Islamic State, a civilian contractor was killed and five others injured, including one U.S. service member in an attack earlier this month.
Biden’s response was to the recent attacks as well as to ongoing threats to coalition forces, and sends a message.
“The operation sends an unambiguous message; President Biden will act to protect American coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both Eastern Syria and Iraq.”
A defense official said the decision was made from the “top down” after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recommended the President take action.
CNN reports that “up to a handful” of militants were killed in the action.
BBC reports that militia officials reported one dead, but a “war monitor” reported 22 fatalities.