U.S. B-1 Lancer bombers have recently been involved in strikes against pro-Iran factions in Syria and Iraq, following a fatal drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan.
The drone attack led to the tragic loss of three American soldiers. The drone is suspected to be of Iranian origin. A conglomerate of armed groups in Iraq known as the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, which enjoys Iranian support, has openly claimed responsibility for assaults on U.S. bases in Syria, while Iran has refuted these allegations.
In a twist of events, the U.S. pointed the finger at Kataëb Hezbollah, an affiliate of the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, accusing them of orchestrating the drone attack in Jordan. In response, Kataëb Hezbollah has temporarily halted its military operations, ostensibly to avoid causing undue embarrassment to the Iraqi government.
More ‘Resistance’ and U.S. Air Strikes
Not all factions are following suit. The Al-Noujaba group, another member of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, has pledged to persist in its attacks on American troops. The U.S. retaliation saw the air force targeting seven locations held by Iran-backed groups in Syria and Iraq. The preferred aircraft for these strikes was the B-1 Lancer – a conventional supersonic bomber.
The Aftermath of the Strikes
As reported by the U.S. Central Command, the relentless strikes hit 85 targets, which included command and control centers, logistics sites, and ammunition depots. The Jordanian Air Force, having experienced the drone attack on its own soil, joined the U.S. in this operation.
U.S. President Joe Biden has hinted at the possibility of further strikes. This hard-hitting response by the U.S. was met with strong condemnation from Tehran. Both Iraq and Syria also expressed their disapproval of the attacks, accusing the U.S. of infringing on their sovereignty.
The Syrian army, in a passionate declaration, has vowed to rid its territory of terrorism and occupation. As we speak, around 900 U.S. troops remain stationed in Syria. Their mission is to bolster the Syrian Democratic Forces and to deter any potential resurgence of ISIS.