As one of his first actions as Commander in Chief, President Joe Biden ordered airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in Syria on Thursday.
"At President Biden's direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria," said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. "These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel ... This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and 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."
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the strikes had killed at least 17 pro-Iranian fighters. "The strikes destroyed three lorries carrying munitions," the observatory's Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP. "There were many casualties."