US airstrikes hit a cluster of buildings and other infrastutture used by Iranian-backed militias in Syria . Here we're followin' Russian reactions

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US airstrikes hit a cluster of buildings and other infrastutture used by Iranian-backed militias in Syria . Here we're followin' Russian reactions

Moscow Condemns US Airstrikes on Syria.
On Thursday night, the Pentagon confirmed reports that it had carried out strikes against "Iran-backed" militia assets in eastern Syria, and claimed that the strikes were conducted in response to recent attacks on US forces in Iraq. President Joe Biden is said to have personally ordered the strikes.


Russia "strongly condemns" the US' Thursday night attack along the Syrian-Iraqi border, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

"We strongly condemn such actions. We call for unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. We reaffirm our rejection of any attempts to turn Syrian territory into an arena for the settling of geopolitical scores," Zakharova said, speaking at a briefing in Moscow on Friday.

President Putin and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
President Putin and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia was "very closely monitoring the situation" following the strikes, and that Moscow is "in constant contact with our Syrian colleagues."

Peskov also said that he had no information about whether the US notified the Russian side about its planned strikes, because such information is passed through the military-to-military level.

US Airstrikes report


Earlier, the US launched an airstrike against "Iran-backed" militia assets on Syrian territory.

US Air Force planes have launched missile strikes in several areas near the Syrian-Iraqi border,
US Air Force planes have launched missile strikes in several areas near the Syrian-Iraqi border,



US Air Force planes have launched missile strikes in several areas near the Syrian-Iraqi border, according to the Syrian state television channel.

"The United States carried out an aggressive action against Syria, attacking ground targets in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor," the report said.

No information on losses among the Syrian troops or material damage was provided.

On late Thursday, Defence Department Press Secretary John Kirby said that the United States had targeted the infrastructure used by Iranian-backed militias – including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) – in eastern Syria.


 
The strike was said to be conducted in retaliation for the 15 February rocket attack on the Erbil Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The US airstrike hit a cluster of buildings and is believed to have killed “up to a handful of people”, The Washington Post newspaper reported on late Thursday, citing an anonymous US official.

According to Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, the airstrike was carried out based on the data provided by the Iraqi intelligence services.

On 15 February, a dozen rockets hit the Erbil Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing a civilian contractor and hurting nine other people. A Shiite militant group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.



The US has targeted Iran-backed militia in Syria, the Pentagon confirmed, adding that the airstrikes were approved by US President Joe Biden and intended as reprisal for rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq.

“At President Biden’s direction US military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian backed militant groups in eastern Syria,” the Pentagon’s spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. The attack took place around 6 pm Eastern time on Thursday. 

Kirby echoed earlier media reports that the bombing of the Syrian territory was in retaliation to “recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq.” He further argued that the raids were aimed at defusing the tensions in the Middle East.

At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to deescalate the overall situation in both Eastern Syria and Iraq.

Kirby claimed that the strikes inflicted serious damage on the infrastructure of “a number of Iranian backed militant groups including Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhad,” noting that “multiple facilities” were destroyed.

Unconfirmed reports from Syria spoke of explosions near Al-Bukamal, a town in the Deir-ez-Zor province near the border with Iraq.

The reported airstrikes come after a series of rocket attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad, the Balad Air Base and the Erbil International Airport in Iraq over the past two weeks. No group has claimed responsibility and the Pentagon has not officially blamed anyone.

This is not the first time the US has blamed Iran for attacks on American troops and contractors in neighboring Iraq. After one contractor died, the Trump administration targeted the Kataib Hezbollah militia and other Shia Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which culminated in the drone assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran, in January 2020.

Biden himself led the chorus of Democrats who denounced President Donald Trump’s move at the time, saying he “tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) had said the Soleimani strike risked “provoking further dangerous escalation of violence” and was undertaken without congressional authorization.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to Defense Department personnel during a visit to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., February 10, 2021. © REUTERS/Carlos Barria
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to Defense Department personnel during a visit to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., February 10, 2021.
© REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Russian Reactions

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia condemns Washington's airstrike on eastern Syria and sees it as an unacceptable violation of the international law, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Friday.

"The attack was launched on the territory of a sovereign nation, a United Nations member state. This is an unacceptable violation of the international law, it it necessary to ascertain whom they attacked," the source said.

Iran assists the Syrian army's fight against the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia), the source stressed.

"They are there to help the legitimate government and the Syrian people fight terrorists," the source concluded.

The Pentagon said that the airstrike ended up destroying multiple facilities of Iran-backed militias. Washington added the strike was conducted in retaliation to recent attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq.

The strike was said to be conducted in retaliation for the 15 February rocket attack on the Erbil Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan.


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