Strikes on 80+ Targets Affiliated with Iran-Backed Militias Had ‘Good Effects’: Pentagon

These strikes were conducted in response to the January 28 militia strike that resulted in the deaths of three U.S. service members at the Tower 22 base in Jordan.
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  • 06:13 AM, February 6, 2024
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Strikes on 80+ Targets Affiliated with Iran-Backed Militias Had ‘Good Effects’: Pentagon
Aerial view of the Pentagon

U.S. airstrikes against militias affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), conducted on February 2, have been declared to have "good effects" by the Pentagon.

These targeted strikes were ordered by President Joe Biden in response to the January 28 militia strike that resulted in the deaths of three U.S. service members and the injury of over 40 others at the Tower 22 base in Jordan.

During a news conference today, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder stated that the U.S. military targeted seven facilities in Iraq and Syria, hitting over 85 Houthi-associated targets. The facilities included command and control operation centers, intelligence centers, rockets, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicle storage and logistics, and ammunition supply chain facilities.

Ryder reported, "Although we continue to evaluate, we currently assess that we had good effects, and the strikes destroyed or functionally damaged more than 80 targets at the seven facilities." However, the number of casualties is still being assessed.

The strikes are seen as the beginning of the U.S. response, with Ryder emphasizing that additional actions will be taken to hold the IRGC and affiliated militias accountable for their attacks on U.S. and coalition forces. He reiterated the U.S. stance of not seeking conflict in the Middle East but emphasized that attacks on American forces would not be tolerated.

Separately, on February 3, multinational forces from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand targeted Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. The strikes aimed to disrupt and degrade Houthi capabilities in conducting attacks against U.S. and international vessels transiting the Red Sea.

The coalition forces hit 13 locations, striking 36 Houthi targets, including buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars. According to Ryder, these capabilities were used by the Houthis to attack international merchant and naval vessels in the region.

Ryder asserted, "This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks."

Additionally, he highlighted unilateral self-defense actions taken by U.S. forces to destroy Houthi missile launchers and unmanned surface vessels (USVs) deemed imminent threats to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region.

While expressing the U.S. reluctance for escalation, Ryder underlined that the strikes were a direct response to actions by the Iranian-backed Houthis. The international coalition, in collaboration with allies and partners, will persist in efforts to ensure the safety of maritime transit in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

"The Houthis live in the same physical plane that we do," Ryder stated. "And they have a finite amount of capability. The question is: How much of that capability they want to sacrifice to a doomed cause? Because we'll continue to diminish and disrupt that capability in the sake of working with international allies and partners to ensure that mariners can safely transit."

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