U.S. F-16 airstrikes hit 2 Iranian-backed militia facilities in Syria

October 27, 2023

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that F-16 fighter jets carried out airstrikes that hit two facilities linked to Iranian-backed mlitias in eastern Syria. 

According to Austin’s statement, the facilities were used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and affiliated groups. 

The two F-16s used precision-guided munitions to carry out the strike, targeting a weapons and storage facility in Abu Kamal near the Syria-Iraq border, which Austin called a “narrowly tailored” strike in “self-defense” that was ordered by President Biden. 

Though Iran’s Foreign Minister on Thursday warned there would be “uncontrollable consequences” for the U.S. should the Israel-Hamas war spreads beyond Gaza, Austin stressed that the strikes were separate from that ongoing crisis, where Israel declared war against Hamas in Gaza after the Iranian-backed terrorist organization’s massive surprise attack on Israel on October 7.

Rather, the strikes were in retaliation for Iran’s role in attacks on U.S. forces, according to Austin. 

Earlier this week Islamist militia groups linked to Iran claimed responsibility for more than a dozen small-scale strikes on U.S. bases in the region, wounding 24 soldiers and killing a civilian contractor.

“Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them,” Austin said in his statement, promising further airstrikes if the Iran-backed militias continue their assaults. 

PHOTO: F-16 fighter jet, per Pentagon file

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