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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2021 All rights reserved
February 27, 2021

     The US on Thursday launched an airstrike in Syria that targeted a structure reportedly belonging to an Iran-backed militia. The strike was approved by President Joe Biden, two officials told Reuters, and comes after a series of rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq. One official told the news service that the strike was in response to those recent attacks.

     It was not immediately clear if there were any deaths or injuries caused by the US strike, or the extent of damage it may have caused. On Feb. 15, a rocket attack against a US military base at Erbil International Airport in Northern Iraq killed a US-led coalition contractor and left others wounded, including an American service member. Two days later, a base hosting US forces north of Baghdad was targeted in another rocket attack, wounding at least one contractor. On Monday rockets hit Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses the US embassy and other diplomatic missions.

     Earlier this week, the Kataib Hezbollah group, one of the main Iran-aligned Iraqi militia groups, denied any role in recent rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq. Some Western and Iraqi officials say the attacks, often claimed by little-known groups, are being carried out by militants with links to Kataib Hezbollah as a way for Iranian allies to harass US forces without being held accountable.

     Since 2019, the US, in response to sometimes deadly rocket attacks American-led forces, has targeted the Kataib Hezbollah group with high-profile strikes in Iraq and Syria. Tensions boiled over under the Trump administration, leading to the US killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani in January 2020. Iran then retaliated with a ballistic missile attack against US forces in Iraq last year.

     Biden has shown his weakness before taking any action.

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