Biden Orders Strikes in Iraq After Attack on Erbil Air Base: Militia Group Supported by Iran Suspected

  • by:
  • Source: NPR
  • 12/26/2023
Following an attack on Erbil Air Base in Iraq, where three U.S. service members were wounded, one critically, President Biden made the decision to order strikes on three locations in Iraq. The attack on the air base was attributed to a militia group supported by Iran.

On Monday, a statement was released by Adrienne Watson, the spokesperson for the National Security Council. The statement revealed that President Biden had given the order for strikes to be carried out against three facilities. These facilities were being utilized by Kataib Hezbollah and other associated groups. These groups had taken responsibility for the initial attack on U.S. personnel.

According to the United States, all of these groups are linked to Iran.

According to the statement, the attack was executed by a single-direction attack drone. The statement further mentioned that the three targeted areas were specifically chosen due to their association with unmanned aerial drone operations.

According to the statement, it was reported that President Biden made the decision to initiate retaliatory strikes upon receiving information about the attack that resulted in injuries to American service members.

President Biden was promptly informed about the attack that occurred earlier today, and in response, he directed the Department of Defense to make necessary preparations for potential courses of action against the individuals or groups responsible for the attack. The options were presented to the President during a call this afternoon with Secretary of Defense Austin and members of the President's national security team, according to the statement.

In the statement, it was mentioned that the President gave instructions to carry out strikes on three locations. These locations were being used by Kataib Hezbollah and other associated groups, with a specific focus on their activities related to unmanned aerial drones.

The protection of American personnel serving in dangerous situations is of utmost importance to the President. If the attacks persist, the United States will take action at a specific time and in a specific manner that it determines.

The attacks have occurred amidst the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza, which has been a major factor contributing to heightened tensions in the region. The Biden administration has expressed support for Israel during the ongoing conflict, while various militia groups in the region, supported by Iran, have escalated their military activities in response to the airstrikes targeting Gaza.

In a statement, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin characterized the strikes as both necessary and proportionate. He emphasized that their primary objective was to disrupt and weaken the capabilities of the Iran-aligned militia groups that bear direct responsibility for the recent events.

Austin, the Secretary of Defense, reiterated President Biden's cautionary statement that the United States is ready to implement additional measures if the situation demands it. “Let me be clear – the President and I will not hesitate to take necessary action to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests. There is no higher priority,” Austin said in the statement.

“While we do not seek to escalate conflict in the region, we are committed and fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities.”


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