Under President Biden authorizationm the United States on Thursday carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria against buildings belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militias responsible for recent attacks against American and allied personnel in Iraq. This was response to the rocketing in Iraq and to continuing threats to American and coalition personnel. A rocket attack on Feb. 15 on the airport in Erbil, in northern Iraq, killed a Filipino contractor with the American-led military coalition and wounded six others. American officials said the strikes were a relatively small, carefully calibrated military response: seven 500-pound bombs dropped on a small cluster of buildings at an unofficial crossing at the Syria-Iraq border.
Mr. Biden approved a less aggressive option, American officials said. The airstrikes on Thursday “specifically destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militia troops, including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada.” The limited strikes appeared intended to signal that Iran’s use of militias as proxies would not allow them to avoid responsibility for attacking Americans.