Biden ordered airstrike after determining Iran supported rocket attacks

By | February 26, 2021

The Politico reports:

President Joe Biden’s decision to order a U.S. airstrike on a border crossing used by Iran-backed militia groups in eastern Syria on Thursday came after U.S. officials determined Tehran facilitated a series of recent attacks endangering Americans in Iraq, according to defense officials.

Planning for a potential military response began soon after Feb. 15, when a dozen rockets targeted coalition forces outside Irbil International Airport, killing one non-U.S. contractor and wounding nine more people, including five Americans, according to one of the officials.

But the president held off on ordering a strike immediately while officials worked to determine who was responsible for the attack, and a proportional response that would avoid escalation, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.

The attacks and retaliatory strike marked the first major military action of the Biden administration. The strike was calculated to signal to Iran that such attacks through proxies in the region would not be tolerated, the officials said, while avoiding escalation into a wider conflict as Biden seeks a diplomatic breakthrough with Tehran on the Iran nuclear deal.

The “proportionate” military response was conducted along with diplomatic measures, including consulting with coalition partners, the Pentagon said. [Continue reading…]

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