U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that military strikes against sites used to harm U.S. troops in Iraq on Christmas Day were deemed “proportionate.”
The strikes targeted facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel.
“Today, at President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted necessary and proportionate strikes on three facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in Iraq,” Austin said. (Trending: Democrat Found Guilty In Corruption Trial)
“These precision strikes are a response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-sponsored militias, including an attack by Iran-affiliated Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups on Erbil Air Base earlier today, and intended to disrupt and degrade capabilities of the Iran-aligned militia groups directly responsible.”
The attack in Erbil, northern Iraq, resulted in three troops being injured, one critically.
The Biden administration has aimed to separate these attacks from the Israel-Hamas conflict, and despite over 100 attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, the injuries have been labeled as “minor” until these Christmas Day casualties.
Austin emphasized the U.S.’ commitment to defending its people and interests.
My “prayers are with the brave Americans who were injured,” Austin said.
“There is no higher priority. 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,” Austin said.