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US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

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WASHINGTON — U.S. airstrikes targeted bases in Syria used by Iranian militant groups suspected of attacking American and allied forces in northern Iraq last week, the Pentagon announced late Thursday.

The strikes, the first authorized by President Joe Biden, hit multiple targets used by the militias the Pentagon blames for rocket attacks on a base in northern Iraq that killed a contractor and wounded U.S. and allied troops. 

“The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. “At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”

Biden’s decision to attack in Syria did not appear to signal an intention to widen U.S. military involvement in the region but rather to demonstrate a will to defend U.S. troops in Iraq.

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