“As tonight’s strikes demonstrated, President Biden has made it clear that he will act to protect US personnel. Given the series of ongoing attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq, the president has ordered further military action to disrupt and deter these attacks, âKirby said.
At least four fighters from Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria were killed in the airstrikes, the Iraqi militia said in a statement on Monday.
An Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq known as Kataib Hezbollah has said it will retaliate against the US airstrike.
“This crime will not go unpunished, the decision to take revenge has been made and the American enemy will see death with their own eyes. He is eyeing and what is to come is serious,” Kataib Hezbollah said in his page Telegram.
Returning to the White House on Sunday night after a weekend at Camp David, Biden did not stop to answer questions about the airstrikes, telling reporters gathered on the South Lawn: “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
A spokesperson for the National Security Council referred CNN’s request for comment to the Pentagon on Sunday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Sunday evening that the airstrikes “appeared to be a targeted and proportional response to a serious and specific threat.”
“Protecting the military heroes who defend our freedoms is a sacred priority. Iranian-backed militias using these facilities have embarked on attacks threatening the US military, as well as our allies,” she said. “Congress looks forward to receiving and considering official notification of this operation under the War Powers Act and to receiving additional information from the administration.”
Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that the airstrikes would destabilize security in the region.
“Our advice to the new (US) administration is that instead of creating a crisis and creating problems for the people of the region, take corrective action and let the people of the region determine their fate,” Khatibzadeh said. , according to Iranian semi-official Entekhab. my news
âWhat America is doing is destabilizing security in the region,â Khatibzadeh added.
Iraqi army spokesman Yahya Rasool on Monday condemned the US airstrikes, saying the action represents “a flagrant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security in accordance with all international conventions.”
The airstrikes were not the first ordered by this administration.
This story has been updated with background information and additional feedback.
CNN DJ Judd, Paul LeBlanc, Chandelis Duster, Ramin Mostaghim, Mohammed Tawfeeq, and Ghazi Balkiz contributed to this report.