Top US officials declared that a series of airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq were “successful”, and hinted that the US was preparing for future attacks on Iranian assets in the Middle East.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would confront Iran and its proxies for its attacks on American forces in the region.
“We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” Pompeo said after briefing President Trump in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called the strikes “successful”, and warned Iran that the US was prepared for “additional actions”.
“We discussed with [President Trump] other options that are available,” Esper said. “I would note also that we will take additional actions as necessary to ensure that we act in our own self-defense and we deter further bad behavior from militia groups or from Iran.”
On Sunday, US F-15 fighter jets bombed five bases used by Kata'ib Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian Shi’ite Muslim terror group which straddles the boundary between Syria and Iraq, and is allied with the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
The five targets struck included three in Iraq and two in Syria.
Twenty-five fighters were reported dead in the strikes in Iraq alone, including four of the group’s leaders. In addition, at least 55 were reportedly wounded in the strikes in Iraq.
The US carried out the attacks after an American civilian contractor was killed and four US military personnel injured in a rocket attack Friday on the K1 base in Kirkuk, Iraq.