US conduct strikes on Iran-backed groups in Deir ez-Zor

“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted precision airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor Syria today."
US fighter jets. (Photo: AFP)
US fighter jets. (Photo: AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The US struck Iran-backed groups in eastern Syria on Tuesday in response to assaults in recent days on the Coalition helping partner forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted precision airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor Syria today,” Colonel Joe Buccino, USCENTCOM Communication Director, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These precision strikes are intended to defend and protect U.S. forces from attacks like the ones on August 15 against U.S. personnel by Iran-backed groups. The U.S. strikes targeted infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” he added.

Colonel Joe Buccino underlined the strikes “were necessary to protect and defend U.S. personnel.”

“The United States took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties,” he added.

He also underlined that US forces remain in Syria to “enduring defeat of ISIS.”

On August 15, the US-led coalition responded to an attack by multiple unmanned drones in the US-held 55-kilometer deconfliction zone around al-Tanf in southern Syria.

Read More: Coalition forces respond to drone attack near Syria’s al-Tanf Garrison

Also on August 19, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a base of the US-led coalition came under attack by a missile in the al-Omar field.

Moreover, on August 22, SOHR reported that the US-led coalition shot down a drone near al-Tanf.

Also last year in February, the Biden administration hit Iran-backed groups in Syria, retaliating for rocket attacks, including the Feb. 15 2021 assault on Erbil International Airport.

The US strikes conducted in Syria come amidst the Biden administration getting closer to renewing a nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which former president Donald Trump left in 2018.

Ambassador John Bolton, who served as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, in an interview with Kurdistan 24 criticized this policy. “Iran has shown no strategic decision not to pursue nuclear weapons,” he added.

“Do they want relief from economic sanctions? Yes, they do. Are they willing to give up the pursuit of no nuclear weapons? I don't think so,” he underlined.

Read More: US continues to blame Iran for stalemate on nuclear deal—but still willing to conclude agreement

Bolton himself is a target of Iran. Earlier this month, the US Justice Department charged a member of IRGC with an attempt to assassinate him.

Read More: Iran plotted to assassinate Bolton, Pompeo

Moreover, the 75 year-old book author Salman Rushdie, who was under threat of Iran, was recently assaulted and heavily injured by an extremist in the United States.

In February 1989, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a religious decree, calling for Rushdie’s murder for writing the book “The Satanic Verses”.

Read More: Shi’a Extremist behind assault on Salman Rushdie

The Biden administration has generally played down Iranian threats to US interests in Iraq, Iran and abroad, in an effort to revive the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.