The United States carried out airstrikes Thursday against Iranian proxy forces in Syria in response to a number of drone attacks and provocations against our forces as the Israel-Hamas war heats up. F-15s and F-16s were reportedly involved:
We can report based on senior military sources that U.S. warplanes have carried out air strikes tonight inside Syria against Iranian proxy forces. We don’t know the number of strikes; we were told earlier today to expect that perhaps F-15s and F-16s would be involved in the air strikes, but we don’t have confirmation yet about how about how many warplanes but those strikes have been carried out.
I’m told it is in response to the more than a dozen strikes against US bases. The message is a clear message designed to Iran and its proxy forces to stop carrying out these drone and rocket attacks against U.S. bases.
But I’m told that the planes have safely left the area and that the air strikes are complete at this time. They were targeting multiple locations inside Syria and Iranian proxy forces.
🚨 BREAKING: The U.S. has carried out multiple air strikes against Iranian proxies in Syria. pic.twitter.com/hpmezsLPHM— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 27, 2023
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released a statement confirming the airstrikes and said that “the United States does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop.”
BREAKING: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released a statement regarding the US Airstrikes on sites used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian-proxies in Northeastern Syria pic.twitter.com/MdCvMPRNMz— Global Conflict Watch (@GloballyWatch) October 27, 2023
He also wrote that “These narrowly-tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria.” Austin:
Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people….
They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
This is a clear warning sign to Iran that the attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East must stop. Earlier Thursday, RedState’s Susie Moore reported on how National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby was peppered with pointed questions from the press corps on why we had not responded more forcefully to the continued attacks on our forces. Perhaps he was extra cagey because he knew what was coming.
How Iran will react is unclear. They could back down and stop their mostly unsuccessful shenanigans, or they could strike harder, which could lead to a wider war in the region. President Joe Biden’s mistakes in the region are numerous, topped by his recent decision to unfreeze $6 billion to Iran, but these strikes were necessary to show that there is a price to be paid for attacking the United States.