US warplanes blitz two Iran-backed militia bases in Syria as tensions rage over Israel

US warplanes blitz two Iran-backed militia bases in Syria as tensions rage over Israel

US fighter jets early today struck two Iran-backed militia bases in Syria in revenge for a spate of drone and missile attacks on American troops.

The Pentagon revealed the escalation amid intense fears the Israel-Hamas conflict could spiral into an all-out war across the Middle East.

The US F-16s struck Iran-backed militia bases inside Syria

GettyThe US wanted to send a message that any attacks on US bases would provoke a strong reaction[/caption]

According to senior US military officials, the “precision” air strikes were carried out near Boukamal in eastern Syria by two F-16 fighter jets.

They struck weapons and ammunition depots that were connected to the Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard Crops and have been recently used to strike US bases.

The strikes were reportedly intended to show Iran-backed militant groups the US would retaliate as strongly as possible to deter future aggression.

On Thursday, a US bases at Kharab al-Jir in Syria was attacked for the second time in two days, while a base in western Iraq was also hit.

Since October 17, there have been at least 19 assaults on US bases and personnel in Iraq and Syria using drones and missiles, according to the Pentagon.

Tensions in the Middle East have soared since Israel declared war on Hamas after the terrorists unleashed hell on southern Israel during their bloody October 7 attacks that left some 1,400 Israelis dead.

Earlier this week, US officials reportedly told Israel to hold off on their expected full-scale ground invasion into Gaza until the US can deliver a dozen advanced air defence systems to the region to protect their troops.

They believe their bases in the Middle East could be targeted by Hamas and other terror groups once Israel tanks and troops move across the border.

So far, one 24 US soldiers have been injured and one personnel killed.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that “precision self-defence strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.”

He said that President Biden directed the strikes “to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.” 

The aerial strikes have significantly reduced the ability of Iranian proxy groups to launch attacks against the US military in the Middle East, a senior official said.

“What we want is for Iran to take very specific actions, to direct its militias and proxies to stand down.”

The United States did not coordinate the air strikes with Israel, the official added.

When asked what groups were targeted, the official said there are several – all proxies funded. armed and directed by Tehran.

Iran is a key backer of Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis.

Washington has already sent two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean and 2,000 Marines in a bid to help stabilise the region.

Last week, it fired its first shots in the defence of Israel when it downed a missile believed to have been launched by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

An official said the USS Carney shot down 15 drones and four cruise missiles fired by the militia group in a nine-hour onslaught.

And as Israel continues to pound the besieged Gaza Strips with air strikes, Hezbollah and other Iran-backed terror groups have threatened to open up new fronts to the war.

Hezbollah has long-vowed not to stand on the sidelines and to join the war in support of Hamas “when the time comes” as they continue to exchange cross-border fire with Israeli forces.

Israel considers Hezbollah an even bigger threat than Hamas, with the group heavily armed with precision missiles supplied by Iran.

In response to the slew of attacks on US bases, White House spokesman John Kirby said that Iran was “actively facilitating” them and “spurring on others who may want to exploit the conflict”.

“We know Iran’s goal is to maintain some level of deniability here, but we’re not going to allow them to do that,” Kirby said.

“We also are not going to allow any threat to our interests in the region to go unchallenged.”

EPAIsrael is preparing for its full-scale ground invasion of Gaza[/caption]

Tens of thousands of Israeli troops are massing on the Gaza border readying for a ground invasion that the US reportedly asked them to delay

ReutersIsrael has been pounding the Gaza Strip relentlessly for weeks[/caption]

ReutersScenes of devastation in Gaza following an Israeli air strike[/caption]

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