US approves plan to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, officials say

US approves plan to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, officials say
US troops in SyriaGetty Images

The US has approved plans for a series of strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, officials have told the BBC’s US partner CBS News.

The strikes would take place over a number of days, officials say, and weather conditions will likely dictate when they are launched.

It comes after a drone attack killed three US soldiers in Jordan, near the Syrian border, on Sunday.

The US has blamed an Iranian-backed militia group for the attack.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq – which is believed to contain multiple militias that have been armed, funded and trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards force – has said it was responsible for the strike.

Iran has denied any role in the attack which injured 41 other US troops at the military base.

While US officials have pledged to respond to the drone attack, President Joe Biden and other officials have said the country is not seeking a wider war with Iran.

Several Iran-backed groups have increased attacks on US and Israeli-linked entities since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war on 7 October.

The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, for example, have attacked ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, prompting strikes from the US and its allies.

A US defence official told CBS that a drone was shot down overnight in the Gulf of Aden, while an unmanned sea drone was struck and destroyed in the Red Sea.

The bodies of the three US soldiers killed in the attack are expected to be repatriated to a Delaware Air Force base on Friday. The White House has announced that President Biden will attend.

This is a developing story. More updates to follow.

A map covering Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey, with attacks on US bases marked with red circles. Most are in Syria and Iraq

Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman