WASHINGTON, February 26. /TASS/. The United States launched airstrikes on targets of pro-Iranian groups in Syria at the direction of President Joe Biden, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told reporters traveling with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin.
"At President Joe Biden's direction, U.S. military forces, earlier this evening, launched airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in Eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against U.S. and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to on-going threats to those personnel,"Kirby said.
According to the press secretary, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups including Kait'ib Hezbollah and Kait'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
"This proportionate military response was conducted along 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," Kirby said.
The National Security Council of the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon have not yet clarified, answering a question from TASS, whether contacts were made with the Russian side and whether attempts were made to ensure that Russian military personnel in Syria did not come under fire.
On February 22, the so-called green zone of Baghdad came under rocket fire. According to the Al Arabiya TV channel, at least three rockets were fired in this area of the Iraqi capital, where government agencies and foreign diplomatic missions, including the US Embassy, are located. Two rockets fell inside the zone, the third - outside. It was noted, there were no casualties.