Pentagon says airstrikes in Syria was to send message to Iran

In Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani issued a statement condemning the American strike “against the people and infrastructure of Syria.”….reports Asian Lite News

US military airstrikes in eastern Syria were a message to Iran and Tehran-backed militias that targeted American troops this month and several other times over the past year, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters that the US airstrikes overnight on facilities used by militias backed by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard demonstrated that “the United States will not hesitate to defend itself against Iranian and Iran-backed aggression when it occurs.”

He said the US decision to launch the strikes was based on both the nature of the militia attacks on Aug. 15 at the Al-Tanf Garrison, where US troops are based in the south, and the fact that, based on recovered drone parts, “we believe we have Iran dead to rights on attribution.”

The opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and activist collective Deir Ezzor 24 said the airstrikes targeted the Ayash Camp run by the Fatimiyoun group made up of Shiite fighters from Afghanistan. The war monitor reported that at least six Syrian and foreign militants were killed in the airstrikes, while Deir Ezzor 24 reported 10 deaths.

Deir Ez-Zor is a strategic province that borders Iraq and contains oil fields. Iran-backed militia groups and Syrian forces control the area and have often been the target of Israeli war planes in previous strikes.

In Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani issued a statement condemning the American strike “against the people and infrastructure of Syria.” He denied Iran had any link to those targeted.

Iran routinely denies arming militia groups that target US forces in the region, despite weaponry linking back to them.

Kahl said the US strikes underscore that while the US continues to pursue negotiations with Iran to resume its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, those talks are not connected at all to America’s willingness to take against when attacked.

“The threats that they engage in against our people in the region or elsewhere, are not linked to wherever we end up on the nuclear deal,” said Kahl. “It actually has nothing to do with our willingness and resolve to defend ourselves. And I think the strike last night was a pretty clear communication to the Iranians that these things are are all on different tracks.”

The US military’s Central Command said the strikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties.” It did not identify the targets or offer any casualty figures from the strikes, which the military said came at the orders of President Joe Biden.

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