Tensions are still rising between the US and Iran this week.

President Joe Biden authorised an airstrike on Iran-backed militias in Syria on Thursday February 25.

The strike is being described as a ‘message’ to Iran, warning them to ‘be careful’.

This is the first military action carried out under the Biden administration.

The strained relationship between the two countries is certainly nothing new.
It took a turn for the worse last year when Donald Trump ordered a drone strike in Baghdad.
The strike killed General Qassem Soleimani back in January 2020 after the former president’s order.
General Soleimani’s death caused Iranian authorities to issue two warrants for Trump’s arrest. One of these warrants was issued just last month.

Biden’s Message

Many were surprised by President Biden’s actions, as they had hoped things would be different under his leadership.

The strike is said to be a warning to Iran, and it is thought to have killed 22 people, according to BBC News.

According to a US official, the site hit is said to have been used as part of a weapons smuggling operation by the Iranian-backed militias.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters he was ‘confident in the target that we went after’.
He added: ‘We know what we hit. We’re confident that that target was being used by the same Shia militants that conducted the strikes [on February 15]’

“A Bad Sign”

Meanwhile, Syria says the strike is a ‘bad sign’ from the Biden administration.

Thursday’s strike is seen as a retaliation, after a civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on US targets earlier this month.

As well as the contractor, there were several injuries. A US serviceman and five other contractors were among those injured in the blast. It was reported that the rockets hit sites in Irbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to BBC News, the Pentagon says the Syrian strike was a ‘proportionate military response’ that was taken ‘together with diplomatic measures.’

Biden told reporters yesterday that his message to Iran was, ‘You can’t act with impunity, be careful.’

Satellite images show a group of buildings before the airstrike and the destruction of most of them after.

The Pentagon confirmed the strikes were carried out by two Air Force F-15E aircraft. They used seven missiles to destroy nine buildings, and heavily damaged two others.

Opposition

Democrats argue the airstrikes were not authorised by politicians. However, Republicans were more supportive.

However, the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Jim Inhofe, says the decision was “the correct, proportionate response to protect American lives”.

Syria has condemned the airstrikes, calling them “a cowardly and systematic American aggression” and warned they will have consequences.

Meanwhile, it’s been a controversial week for the Biden administration, after a controversial decision to reopen one of the camps used to hold migrant children.

Do you think Biden was right to carry out the airstrikes?

Image via Alamy