The White House championed the airstrikes that hit two facilities in eastern Syria being used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Thursday as holding Iran responsible for recent attacks on U.S. troops in the area.
“I think we proved pretty clearly last night that we’re holding Iran accountable,” Kirby said on Fox News on Friday.
President Biden ordered U.S. military forces to carry out “self-defense airstrikes” on a weapons storage facility and an ammunition storage area used by the IRGC. The U.S. military conducted the “discreet precision strikes” against the facilities near Al Bukamal, Syria, close to the border with Iraq using two F-16 fighter jets, an official said.
“The IRGC works for the Supreme Leader and they are directing, facilitating, funding, training the militia groups that are attacking our troops in Iraq and Syria,” Kirby continued on Friday. “And those two targets we hit last night, go right to the IRGC.”
There have been at least 19 attacks against the U.S. military in the Middle East since last week, including four in Syria and 12 in Iraq, with three new attacks just on Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
Twenty-one American troops have suffered minor injuries as a result of the attacks, many of them traumatic brain injuries.
“I don’t think we’re walking away from any culpability by the IRGC or … the regime and in terms of targets that we … chose to hit,” Kirby said.
He added that if the attacks continue, the U.S. military will “continue to do what we need to do.”
Kirby said the plan is to go directly to the ammunition and storage facilities to target “their ability to support” militia groups. The other priority, he added, would be to send a strong deterrence message.
“We hope they got that message. If they don’t, if they didn’t, and if … these attacks continue, and as the President said, we’ll continue to respond,” he added.
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