Biden orders airstrikes on Iran-backed militias

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 22: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event on economic crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on his administration’s response to the economic crisis that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and signed two executive orders. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military, under the direction of President Joe Biden, conducted airstrikes Sunday against what it said were “facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups” near the border between Iraq and Syria.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the militias were using the facilities to launch unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Kirby said the U.S. military targeted three operational and weapons storage facilities — two in Syria and one in Iraq.

He described the airstrikes as “defensive,” saying they were launched in response to an “ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq.”

“The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation — but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message,” Kirby said.

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