Biden orders strikes on Iranian group in Iraq after 3 US service members wounded

President Biden has ordered strikes in three locations in Iraq, after three U.S. soldiers were injured, including one seriously, in a Christmas morning attack on the Erbil Airbase attributed to an Iranian-backed militia group.

The National Security Council’s spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated in a Monday statement that Biden had directed the strikes on three facilities operated by Kataib Hezbollah, and other affiliated groups. These groups claimed responsibility for the initial attack, which was against U.S. military personnel.

The U.S. claimed that all of the groups are connected to Iran.

According to the statement, the attack was conducted by a drone that only aimed one way. The three locations “were focused specifically on unmanned aerial activities.”

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Biden, according to the statement, ordered the strikes in retaliation after learning about the attack which injured the U.S. military personnel.

President Biden was informed of the attack immediately this morning and ordered the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop options for a response against the perpetrators. The President was then given these options during a phone call with Secretary Austin and members from the President’s National Security Team this afternoon,” read the statement.

The statement went on to say that “During this call, the president directed strikes against three areas utilized by Kataib Hezbollah & affiliated groups focused specifically unmanned aerial drone activity.”

The President’s priority is the safety of American personnel in danger. If these attacks continue, the United States will take action at a time of our choosing.

As tensions continue to rise in the area, the Israeli conflict in Gaza is a factor. The Biden administration has supported Israel in this war. Meanwhile, militia groups in the region, backed by Iran, have intensified their military activities in response to Gaza’s bombardment.

In a statement, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the strikes ‘necessary and disproportionate’ and stated that they were aimed at “disrupting and degrading the capabilities of the Iran aligned militia groups who are directly responsible.”

Austin reiterated Biden’s warning, saying that the U.S. was prepared to take additional action if needed.

“Let’s be clear: the President and myself will not hesitate to act to protect the United States, the troops and our interests. Austin stated in a statement that there was no other priority.

“While we don’t seek to escalate the conflict in the area, we are fully committed and prepared to take additional necessary measures to protect our people as well as our facilities.”